MADISON, Wis. — Spansion, which began last summer its transformation process from a flash memory specialist to a supplier of "embedded systems solutions," reported Tuesday fourth-quarter revenue of $313.7 million, a 40% increase from the same quarter a year ago, and up 14% sequentially.
Calling the acquisition of Fujitsu Semiconductor's MCU and analog businesses "a nice fit," John Kispert, CEO at Spansion, during a one-on-one interview with EE Times, remained optimistic about integrating two companies with vastly different cultures, geographical markets, and product lines.
The Fujitsu Semiconductor acquisition in August is paving the way for Spansion's development of new SoCs integrating Spansion's embedded flash technology with MCU, analog, and power management ICs.
Spansion plans to home in on the automotive market by launching new SoC products, the first fruits of the merger, in the middle of this year.
Spansion's CEO Kispert told EE Times that the company will fit new SoCs into automotive and the Internet of Things. Spansion's "ability to bring higher performance MCUs with embedded flash" is already getting "great traction" from its customers, he claimed.
A new family of microcontroller products that use our flash technology for automotive applications is scheduled for launch in mid-year, 2014, he said.
Spansion's plan for melding the two companies' technologies is ambitious. It includes development of "system-level architectures" that address "complex interface, protocols and security requirements," Kispert explained during the company's earnings call. In the coming quarter, he said Spansion will accelerate the introduction of new product platforms.
Clearly, Spansion's game plan is to ride the wave for "smart and connected devices in homes, cars, buildings and on the go with wearables."
Kispert explained that all such [embedded systems] designs inevitably demand "more processing power, flash memory and power management operations to manage analog interactions with the external world." Kispert is hopeful that the market will trend in that direction and dovetail with the company's combined MCU/analog/flash strategy.
Integration of Fujitsu's divisions
For any company, incorporating two organizations into one tends to be time-consuming and often painful. But Kispert stressed that he's happy with the progress Spansion is making with Fujitsu Semiconductor's MCU and analog businesses.
In contrast to Spansion, which had good customer bases outside Japan, Fujitsu's customer base was mostly in Japan, said the CEO. Now, MCUs and analog products suddenly have much larger markets, including Europe, China and the United States, Kispert explained.
Spansion's fourth quarter 2013 net sales. (Note: Data is based on Spansion "ship to" locations.)
Spansion's fourth quarter 2013 net sales.
He called Fujitsu Semiconductor's acquired groups, which include researchers and scientists, "a tremendous group."