SAN FRANCISCO—Brazilian chip vendor Ceitec SA said Tuesday (Aug. 10) that Cyclon Goncalves da Silva will replace Eduard Weichselbaumer as the company's CEO and member of its board of directors.
Weichselbaumer, who joined Ceitec as chairman and CEO last year, is resigning in order to spend more time with his son in San Jose, Calif., Ceitec said.
Because Ceitec is a government-backed entity, the appointment of Goncalves was subject to and received the approval of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, Ceitec said.
Gonçalves da Silva has held key positions in academia, government and private enterprise, according to Ceitec. His background includes an extended stint with IBM, as well as a long-held professorial position at the Physics Institute at Brazil's State University of Campinas, according to Ceitec.
In 2005, at the age of 59, Gonçalves da Silva took up the position of technology director of the Genius Technology Institute, a for profit company, according to Ceitec. The company said he has an established track record in Brazil of managing large projects from conception to success due to experience in both government and the private sector.
Ceitec officially started operations in 2009, though the company took its name from a government-backed R&D program that established several IC design centers in Brazil earlier in the 2000s. In February, the company opened a 6-inch wafer fab at its headquarter in Porte Alegre, Brazil.
The Brazilian government has sunk some $250 million into Ceitec, which last year announced its first product, an RFID tag for cattle raising. At a grand opening ceremony for the 6-inch fab in Porte Alegre in February, Brazilian officials—including President da Silva—outlined their ambitions for Brazil's budding chip industry, with a focus on Ceitec as a linchpin to lure Brazilian nationals working in the semiconductor industry abroad back home.
Weichselbaumer is a 28-year veteran of the semiconductor industry who has held management positions at large firms, including Virage Logic, and founded successful startups.
The only RFID chip that CEITEC offers is from X-FAB Germany with a low level encapsulation in Brazil.
The CEITEC fab is not operational for any NPI products in volume production and full bringup will be subject to the results of the government elections which could seriously delay bringing any local designed RFID designs into a yet to be commissioned facility.
It is still purely an R&D aggregation center with
no clear momentum and uncertain goverment backing
I have seen emerging hi-tech countries go the RFID route. Russia's government silicon fabs are making headway with STMicorelectronics. Brazil may have a better chance. It has less corruption and more reasons for companies to invest than Russia ever had or probably ever will.
Yeah, the $250 million is what has been invested in getting Ceitec up and running, etc. I believe they still have quite a bit of that money. The RFID tag was just the first product from the company and what the government hopes will be a small step on the way to building a thriving industry.
You missed the point. It is not about cattle, nor RFID. It is about establishing an industry, in an up and coming country. And some governments are good at that - follow Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China. Even in lands of Anglo-Saxon capitalism, governments used to do the same - and still do. Freemarketeers today often go overboard - look at the fate of Lucent and Nortel in US and Canada.
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