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."
Rob, Please contact me directly at email@example.com with specific problems or complaints. I am directly involved in projects to make our tools easier to use. But "tools" is a broad term, so I'm not sure what tool or part of a tool you're talking about, what version, etc. Maybe I can help. Maybe it's something we've already fixed. If nothing else, I will certainly listen, and perhaps I can do something about it. I genuinely consider feedback a gift, if you're willing to give it.
Dylan, it is all in the nomenclature / term used to describe the part. Take Broadcom for example, their 10Gig products like BCM87xxxxx are actually quite popular with the end users. If Freescale feels their names are a hit with the end users, I see no problem here!
Maybe the name is a bit difficult to pronounce, especially to non-English speaker, I think the most important thing is to have distinct features on each series so that people can say "ahhah" and really feel good to use them. I hope Freescale can go on the right track to provide easy to use while good performance processor/controller seires in those target markets.
So Freescale is also in the strong competition for the general purpose micro-controllers with PIC, TI and Intel. General purpose micro-controllers series are the most used electronic components in the smaller electronic products and projects. Efficient controllers are the most wanted things and that's where the FC's focus is.
That's because all of the new management does know the old names. PowerPC, PowerQuicc, ColdFire, StarCore, and yes its a part number, but who doesn't know 68000? I'm sure you'll find these at the core of these 'new' products. I think its cheeper to make new powerpoints than new cores, busses, and software infrastructure.
I admit I had the same thought. Henri Richard made the point that what Freescale/ Motorola used to have were part numbers, rather than product names. Part numbers don't really stick in the mind, unless you are using them or otherwise dealing with them all the time. But, like you, I agree that QorIQ Qonverge (pronounced, I only recently learned, "Core IQ Converge" seems kind of clunky. At the very least the spelling is not something you are going to remember initially. After a while I suspect that we will all get used to the names and it will seem no big deal. But for now, reading that name and then trying to say it... I suspect it's not something that many people will understand intuitively.
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