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Freescale

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Freescale

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
Public
Traded as FSL
Industry Semiconductor
Founded Spin-off from Motorola in 2004
Headquarters Austin, Texas, USA
Key people

Gregg Lowe (CEO)
Geoff Lees (Microcontrollers)
Tom Deitrich (Digital Networking)
Bob Conrad (Automotive MCU)
James Bates (Analog & Sensors)
Ritu Favre (RF)

See all executives
Revenue Increase$3.945 billion USD (2012)[1]
Operating income Increase$463 million USD (2012)[1]
Net income Decrease$102 million USD (2012)[1]
Employees 16,500 (2012)[1]
Website freescale.com

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is an American company that produces and designs embedded hardware, with 17 billion semiconductor chips in use around the world. The company focuses on the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets with its product portfolio including microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors, digital signal controllers, sensors, RF power ICs and power management ICs. In addition, the company offers software and development tools to support product development. The company also holds an extensive patent portfolio, including approximately 6,100 patent families. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas with design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations in more than 20 countries.

Freescale is currently ranked 7th among the semiconductor sales leaders in the United States and is ranked 16th worldwide.

Competitors

Freescale competes with a host of other silicon vendors, including Texas Instruments, Intel, AMD, Toshiba, ST Microelectronics, Infineon, NEC Corporation, Nvidia, NXP Semiconductors, Renesas, Qualcomm, VIA Technologies, and Samsung Electronics.[2]

History

Freescale was one of the first semiconductor companies in the world, having started as a division of Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona in 1948[3] and then becoming autonomouse by the divestiture of the Semiconductor Products Sector of Motorola in 2004. In 1955, a Motorola transistor for car radios was the world’s first commercial high-power transistor. It was also Motorola’s first mass-produced semiconductor device.

In the 1960s, one of the U. S. space program's goals was to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. In 1968, NASA began manned Apollo flights that led to the first lunar landing in July 1969. Apollo 11 was particularly significant for hundreds of employees involved in designing, testing and producing its electronics. A division of Motorola, which became Freescale Semiconductor, supplied thousands of semiconductor devices, ground-based tracking and checkout equipment, and 12 on-board tracking and communications units. An "up-data link" in the Apollo's command module received signals from Earth to relay to other on-board systems. A transponder received and transmitted voice and television signals and scientific data.[4]

Also that year, Motorola’s technologies were used to introduce the first two-way mobile radio with a fully transistorized power supply and receiver for cars.[5]

Motorola has continued its growth in the networking and communications sector in later years, providing the tools behind the radio transponder that delivered the first words from the moon in 1969, and going on to develop the first prototype of the first analog mobile phone in 1973.[6]

The company’s first microprocessor (MC6800 8-bit) was introduced in 1974, and was used in automotive, computing and video game applications.[7]

Motorola’s next generation 32-bit microprocessor, the MC68000, led the wave of technologies that spurred the computing revolution in 1984, powering devices from companies such as Apple, Commodore, Atari, Sun, and Hewlett Packard.[8]

In the 1990s, Motorola’s technology was the driving force behind intelligent power switches for anti-lock brake systems, one of the first microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensor for automotive airbags, and Motorola’s MPC5200 microprocessor deployed telematic systems for General Motors’ OnStar systems.[9]

Since then, Freescale has continued to provide the technology behind consumer, medical, networking and automotive products from microprocessors for the world’s first tubing-free wireless insulin pump,[10] to and automotive microcontrollers for efficient engine design. Freescale’s motion-sensing accelerometer powers the interactivity of the Guitar Hero video games.[11] The number one provider of eReader applications processors worldwide is Freescale.[12]

In 2011, the company launched the industry’s first multimode wireless base station processor family that scales from small to large cells – integrating DSP and communications processor technologies to realize a true "base station-on-chip".[13] In addition, a recent ABI Research market study report states that Freescale owns 60% share of the Radio Frequency (RF) semiconductor device market.

Also in 2011, Freescale announced the company's first magnetometer for location tracking in smart mobile devices.[14] With the partnership of McLaren Electronic Systems, they helped the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicles convert from carburetors to fuel injection starting in 2012.[15][16][17]

Zune bug

Clock driver software written by Freescale was responsible for the 2008 Zune leap year bug.[18][19]

Kinetis

On 26 February 2013, Freescale Semiconductor announced the creation of the world’s smallest (by size) ARM-powered chip. The Kinetis KL02 measures 1.9 by 2 millimeters and is a full microcontroller unit (MCU), meaning the chip sports a processor, RAM, ROM, clock and I/O control unit. The chip competes with the Atmel M0+ offerings, which are the low-power leaders in the industry [20] One application that Freescale says the chips could be used for is swallowable computers. Freescale already works with a variety of health and wellness customers. Both the Fitbit and OmniPod insulin pump use Freescale chips. The new chip was on display at 'Embedded World' in Nuremberg, Germany from February 26, 2013 to February 28, 2013.[21]

Financials

Motorola announced that their semiconductor division would be divested on October 6, 2003 to create Freescale. Freescale completed its IPO on July 16, 2004.

On September 15, 2006, Freescale agreed to a $17.6 billion buyout by a consortium led by Blackstone Group and its co-investors, Carlyle Group, TPG Capital, and Permira.[22] The buyout offer was accepted on November 13, 2006 following a vote by company shareholders. The purchase, which closed on December 1, 2006, was the largest private buyout of a technology company until the Dell buyout of 2013 and is one of the ten largest buyouts of all time.[23]

Freescale filed to go public on February 11, 2011 and completed its IPO on May 26, 2011. Freescale is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FSL. At the time of the IPO, the company had $7.6 billion in outstanding debt on its books,[24] and the company is being investigated for misconduct related to this IPO.[25]

See also

Notes

External links

  • Corporate website


Template:Major information technology companies

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