STMicroelectronics' plan to exit from its joint venture with Ericsson makes sense, but its 2013 timetable suggests selling ST-Ericsson will not be easy.
It could also be that ST-Ericsson is not now in suitable shape to be
sold and requires a new plan and more cuts by CEO Lamouche. ST-Ericsson
is still trying to present itself as mobile processor vendor, which
requires a lot of software and motherboard work on top of the merging of
modem and application processor. In a market dominated by a few
operating systems – iOS and Android – it would seem that ST-Ericsson's
greatest value lies in its LTE modem capability, which is only a portion
of its current operation.
We asked back in July 2011 how long
ST-Ericsson could carry one, but we never dreamed it would be two years.
Earlier this year, we suggested a sale to a well-heeled Chinese company
might be one of the quickest and easiest options. Things are of course
made more complicated by having to satisfy the requirements of the other
anguished parent, Ericsson.
The irony is that FD-SOI, a
manufacturing process technology that was more or less engineered by ST
to help ST-Ericsson compete in the mobile device market remains a
potential key to the rejuvenation of STMicroelectronics. There are signs
that FD-SOI could be a real winner against bulk CMOS and FinFET CMOS
processes at 28 and 20 nm, especially in terms of low power consumption.
the mobile processor market has been all but won by Apple, Qualcomm,
Samsung and a few Asian competitors. ST is more or less out of leading
edge CMOS manufacturing. At least FD-SOI gives the chip maker a viable option for the future.
Related links and articles:
ST to exit ST-Ericsson in 2013
Yoshida in NY: Can ST-Ericsson shrink to survive?
28-nm FDSOI is production ready, says ST
ST-Ericsson rescue plan underwhelms
Why ST should sell ST-Ericsson to China
How long has ST-Ericsson got?