During a presentation at last week's Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) in San Antonio, Texas, Henri Richard, the company's chief sales and marketing officer, showed a slide listing eight of Freescale's core product brands: Qorivva automotive microcontrollers, QorIQ Qonverge base station processors, QorIQ network processing platforms, AirFast RF power ICs, Kinetis microcontrollers, Vybrid controllers, i.MX application processors and S12 MagniV mixed-signal automotive microcontrollers.
Other than i.MX, none of these brands existed prior to 2010, Richard said. (He added that i.MX has evolved so much since then that he really didn't consider it the same class of product).
Richard's point: after Freescale's tumultuous leveraged buyout by a group of private equity firms in 2006 and the heavy market undulations that began in late 2008, Freescale has spent the past few years focused on creating entire new product families across the markets it serves. Richard and other Freescale executives believe these products form the foundation of Freescale's mandate, articulated early and often by new President and CEO Gregg Lowe, to outgrow the broader semiconductor market and gain market share.
"The core of the [product] portfolio is completely transformed," Richard said. "I can't believe with the most competitive portfolio we have had in at least the last 10 to 15 years that we can't grow."
After several years intensive R&D focused on reinventing the company's product lines, Freescale now has the goods to compete and win sockets in places it had difficulty in before, according to Reza Kazerounian, general manager of Freescale's Automotive, Industrial and Multi-Market Solutions group. "Freescale is a turnaround story more than anything else."