SAN JOSE, Calif. - Ramtron International Corp., a supplier of ferroelectric-based low-power memory and integrated semiconductor products, continues to shake up its operations.
The company has accepted the resignation of Ramtron CEO Bill Staunton. Eric Balzer, Ramtron’s current CFO and a member of the company’s board, has been named CEO. Balzer will retain the title and responsibilities of CFO until a replacement is named. The board has initiated a search for a new chief financial officer. Balzer became Ramtron’s CFO in 2004 and has been a director of Ramtron since 1998.
Earlier this month, Ramtron announced the resignation of Chief Operating Officer Robert Djokovich, the promotion of Michael Hollabaugh to chief marketing officer, and the appointment of Mary Chu as vice president of operations.
The resignation of Djokovich was effective Jan. 17, 2011. In connection with the resignation, Ramtron and Djokovich also terminated Djokovich’s ''Change in Control Severance Agreement.''
Since 2007, Chu was vice president of operations for Qspeed Semiconductor, where she was responsible for all aspects of product manufacturing and delivery as well as production quality and reliability. Separately, Hollabaugh, who had been Ramtron’s senior VP of marketing and sales, has been promoted to chief marketing officer.
It's been a topsy-turvey time for Ramtron. As reported, IBM Corp. appears to be struggling with its foundry ramp for Ramtron. In 2009, Ramtron entered into a foundry services agreement with IBM. The companies planned to install Ramtron’s F-RAM semiconductor process technology in IBM's Burlington, Vermont, advanced wafer manufacturing facility.
At that time, Ramtron expected to generate first production wafers during 2010 on the IBM 0.18-micron wafer manufacturing process. IBM will become Ramtron’s second foundry supplier for its FRAM semiconductor products, along with Texas Instruments.
To date, IBM has failed to deliver. Based on a review of Ramtron’s preliminary results, the company recently said it expected full year 2010 total revenue and GAAP net income to be at the low end of the guidance ranges previously provided in the company’s third quarter earnings release.
Ramtron recently reported total revenue of $19.9 million for the third quarter of 2010, compared with $11.6 million reported for the same quarter of 2009. Third-quarter product revenue was $19.7 million, compared with product revenue of $11.3 million reported for the same quarter last year.
Third-quarter net income was $342,000, or $0.01 per share, compared with net income of $131,000, or $0.01 per share, for the same quarter a year earlier.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.