There are pros and cons with all kind of changes and merges of companies as well. What I've heard from the market is TI has a more aggressive approach with customer than NSC so the result is another nice guy will disappear from the market and that is not appreciated by the market.
NSC has proven they delivered during the past bad years. TI and many others had more than decent delays.
A TI approach is also to have 30% renewal in average of employees at sales and tech support. It may be a method to keep the costs down because they hire people direct from school. Tech guys (read NSC) with real knowledge costs more.
I am not sure how many of those at NSC will move but i sure the most skilled will find another more attractive employer than TI.
While it is true that improvements in analog are ongoing since the first op amp, fundamentally it is a products off-the-shelf business. It is my hope that the design teams at both companies find ways to integratie analog with digital in SOCs and make truly system integration come alive. Of course, that all depends if both cultures can overcome their individual FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factor while they wait to get sorted in their new bins. See how history repeats itself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
Bill, Sure you are right, if you look at things in that angle. My view is Widlar's had started many many new directions, IE; as you mention Widlar's op amps, his low voltage op amps was later further develop into today's low voltage op amps.... etc.
However, in the past 20 years, in analog design, as I mention in my previous post, sure things get improve. but there is no new field,it is keep improving and improving the old stuffs. analog design is almost a dead field compare with the era where Widler, Dobkin, and Brokaw cranking out of new ideas and direction. I am a "NS college gratudate " I am fortunate to work close to all these pioneers to be able to learn their philosophy and art; I really think Analog needs to have break though. otherwise, it will be a boring world with embedded core and little functional commodity analog part selling by tons and cheap and no big deal to design, nothing special. Just some thoughts.
Hendrik--sorry, I disagree, there have been many,many large and small imporvemnts in analog deisgn and ICs in the last 20-30 years, in fundamental processes, internal topologies,packaging, performance--every dimension and aspect. Don't see how you can so easily dismiss all these. We are a very,very long way from Widlar's famous op amps.
In my opinion; A new era has begun. Ti-Ns is the "Walmat", It will bring manufacturing capability to compete with the Asia IC makers. As for innovation, it is time for Analog world in the Silicon valley to upgrade itself to Intelligent Analog design, Since Widler passed, there is not much advancement. Analog design is just traveling the improving direction for past 20 years then open up new field like when Widler's era. The asia competitors have catched up.
A new era has to begin and a new company needs to surface, that is evolution to keep the analog design on. The world cannot be end up with an embbeded system world only but analog or intelligent analogy needs to surface because intellingent analog does the localization smart/intelligent better then the embedded system which is mainly digital.
Time to move on Bob (Pease) Time to start another new era.
"On the acquirer's side, management becomes pre-occupied at looking at the specifics of their soon-to be-acquiree."
Maybe so, but in this case it is akin to a wolf acquiring a dazed sheep for dinner. The valuable bits (IP) will be stripped to the bone and the supporting structure discarded. Burp.
I used to work at Burr-Brown which Texas Instruments bought out in 2000.
If history is a guide:
1. TI will force NSC people to do it TI's way - whether or not NSC's way was better.
2. Most of NSC employees will be laid off in a few years.
3. There will some innovation but it will have to be in TI's way not NSC.
4. The NSC site will be 1/5 the size of what it is now (this is what happened to Burr-Brown - it used to have 1500 employees - it now has less than 300 in Tucson).
As someone who worked at National Semi during the freewheeling Charlie Sporck era in the early 80's I have fond memories of the National that I knew then. At this point however, National is a mere shell of what it once was and they really didn't seem to have any momentum on their own. Perhaps the merger with TI will change the outlook there so that they are freed to take more risk again. Although I am not optimistic that will happen as TI management has been extremely conservative in the past as well.
There are some interesting points raised in this article. Definitely quite a few jobs will be lost. NaTI will not need two HR departments or two financial groups long term for example. That's unfortunate, but a fact of life in mergers.
On the technical side, I do see a potential issue with Na projects being put on hold at least until they are given due diligence by TI management. TI is a big enough company that their projects will probably be full speed ahead.
Let's revisit this a year from now...