PARIS Texas Instruments Inc.'s boss is betting the company's future on the strength of its advanced CMOS process technology and analog expertise rather than seeking alliances with other chip vendors.
Richard Templeton, CEO of Dallas-based chip maker, said during a visit here on Tuesday (Sept. 27) that TI and rival Intel Corp. are among the few IC manufacturers with the process technology, circuit and system design capabilities to provide a broad product lineup.
Templeton, a no-nonsense ex-engineer, described TI as a “conservative company," stressing that the company's star shouldn’t be its CEO, but its customers and products.
“Let the facts speak themselves,” said Templeton. “We are the first ones to have shipped 100 million [chip]units based on the 90-nanometer process node.”
TI’s conviction to go it alone in the development of next-generation semiconductor technology is driven by the company’s faith in its in-house R&D capabilities.
"Technology development is not a team sport,” said Templeton. “Many alliances are formed not out of strength. They often come together out of [partners'] weaknesses.” He added, “Worst of all, alliances often force their partners to work on negotiated specs and negotiated parameters. That will slow you down.”
Chip industry consolidation is not happening, either, in Templeton’s view. But the gap between “those who have [intellectual property]” and “those who have not” is widening.
Prior to the technology bust of the late 1990’s, there were as many as nine semiconductor companies with advanced CMOS process technologies. “Today we only have a handful of players, including Intel, TI, IBM, STMicroelectronics’ consortium with Philips Semiconductors and Freescale and "one or two Japanese” companies, he said.
Many chip companies are scaling back operations or becoming smaller and more specialized, according to Templeton. Meanwhile, "a growing number of fabless chip companies like Qualcomm, Broadcom and Marvell Technology are rising” to go after selective markets, he said.
The TI chief said his company is positioned to leverage its IP and expertise in DSPs, microprocessors, system-on-chip and mixed signal in various products, including wireless, broadband, digital light projection, audio and video. “There is no other semiconductor company with such a broad product lineup,” Templeton claimed.