STMicroelectronics was created in 1987 by the merger of SGS Microelettronica of Italy and Thomson Semiconducteurs of France with the aim of becoming a world leader in the sub-micron era. The new company pursued an aggressive growth strategy, investing heavily in R&D, forging strategic alliances with blue-chip customers and academia, building up an integrated presence in major economic regions, and honing one of the world’s most efficient manufacturing operations.
Since its formation, ST has grown faster than the semiconductor industry as a whole and it has been one of the world’s Top Ten semiconductor suppliers since 1999. Today, an unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio, industrial and academic partnerships, and one of the industry’s broadest product ranges makes ST a world leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications.
ST is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, with net revenues of US$8.88 billion in 2005, and US$7.37 billion for the first nine months of 2006, and market leadership that is spread across many fields. For example, according to the latest industry data, ST is the world’s fifth largest semiconductor company and has leading positions in sales of Analog Products, Analog Application Specific Integrated Circuits and Analog Application Specific Standard Products. ST is also number one in camera modules for mobile phones, number two in discretes and analog, and number three in NOR Flash, as well as in the application segments of Automotive, Industrial, and Wireless. ST is also the leading supplier of semiconductors for set-top boxes and power management devices. Furthermore, ST was the 3rd biggest semiconductor supplier in China in 2005.
ST offers one of the world’s broadest product ranges, with over 3,000 main types of products. The carefully balanced portfolio includes both application-specific products containing a large proprietary IP content and multi-segment products that range from discrete devices to high-performance microcontrollers. The Company’s sales are well balanced between the industry’s five major high-growth sectors: Communications (38%), Consumer (16%), Computer (17%), Automotive (15%) and Industrial (14%). ST pioneered and continues to refine the use of platform-based design methodologies for complex ICs in demanding applications such as set-top boxes, secure smart cards and mobile multimedia, which minimizes development time and cost. The balanced portfolio approach allows ST to address the needs of all microelectronics users, from global strategic customers for whom ST is the partner of choice for major System-on-Chip (SoC) projects to local enterprises that need fully-supported general-purpose devices.
ST has leading-edge manufacturing facilities on four continents. The Company currently has 200mm wafer fabs in Agrate Brianza (Italy), Catania (Italy), Crolles (France), Phoenix (USA), Rousset (France), and Singapore. In 300mm-wafer IC manufacturing, ST operates a 300mm pilot line called Crolles2, which is now in full production, in partnership with Freescale Semiconductor and NXP Semiconductors; a 300mm (and a 200mm) facility in Wuxi City, China, which is a joint venture between ST and Hynix Semiconductor for the production of NAND Flash memory (for both ST and Hynix) and DRAM (Hynix only); and a 300mm facility in Catania, Italy, which is ready to be equipped. The Crolles2 Alliance operation is also host to the joint-development program, among ST, Freescale and NXP, to develop leading-edge CMOS process technology down to the 32nm node, in conjunction with TSMC for process alignment. The wafer fabs are complemented by highly efficient assembly and test facilities located in China, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco and Singapore.
Since its creation, ST has exhibited an unwavering commitment to R&D. In 2005, ST spent US$1.63 billion in R&D, which was some 18% of its 2005 revenues. That effort produced 720 patent applications in 2005, maintaining ST’s track record as one of the industry’s most innovative and prolific inventors. ST is also active in numerous collaborative research projects worldwide as well as playing a key role in Europe’s advanced technology research programs such as MEDEA+ and the framework programs of the European Union. It is also a leader in important forward-looking industry initiatives such as ENIAC (European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council) at the European level or the “Poles de Compétitivité” (e.g. Minalogic near Grenoble and SCS in the Provence area) at the regional level.
ST has developed a worldwide network of strategic alliances, including product development with key customers, technology development with customers and other semiconductor manufacturers, and equipment- and CAD-development alliances with major suppliers. These industrial partnerships are complemented by a wide range of research programs conducted with leading universities and research institutes around the world. By augmenting its rich portfolio of proprietary technologies and core competencies with complementary expertise from a variety of carefully chosen strategic partners, ST has developed an unsurpassed capability to offer leading-edge solutions to customers in all segments of the electronics industry.
Many of ST’s research and development programs are managed by its AST (Advanced System Technology) organization, whose mission is to develop the strategic system knowledge that will be required within 3-5 years by ST’s product divisions. Among AST’s significant recent achievements are innovative technologies for digital consumer, networking, mobile security, and on-chip interconnect.
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