STMicroelectronics may not be a household name, but it’s a name that’s stamped on quite a few gizmos that you and yours have probably handled. Going forward, however, the company is announcing a new “strategic plan” that’ll key in on five growth drivers while waving goodbye to a jointly held venture with ST-Ericsson. Carlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST, stated the following: “Today we are announcing the new ST, aligned with the new market environment. Based on that, we have made the decision to exit ST-Ericsson after a transition period. We will continue to support ST-Ericsson as their supply-chain partner, advanced process-technology partner and application-processor IP provider.”
From now on, the outfit will focus on MEMS and sensors, smart power, automotive products, microcontrollers, and application processors including digital consumer — clearly, five areas where the tie-up with ST-Ericsson won’t be necessary. Most analysts suggest that the two simply couldn’t find a way to be competitive in the mobile chip business, with larger Asian and US-based rivals eating an increasing share of that pie. Moreover, the venture has been lagging ever since Nokia’s smartphone downfall; as luck would (or wouldn’t, depending on perspective) have it, Nokia was one of ST-Ericsson’s bigger clients. It remains to be seen how many jobs will be lost due to this decision, and which of the remaining chip makers will be swooping in to buy up what’s left.