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How Amadeus Got Its Name.

Amadeus Capital Partners, 18 years old this year,  has proved to be one of the shining stars in the UK’s high-tech VC industry. Why is it called Amadeus? “I wanted to call it the Cambridge Technology Fund,” recalls Amadeus co-founder Hermann Hauser, ” but Anne (Anne Glover, Hauser’s founding co-partner in Amadeus) said she didn’t like the word Cambridge, and didn’t ...

Why You Should Have Got Out Of The IC Industry 7 Years Ago

Seven years ago, Dwight Decker, at that time Chairman of  both Conexant and the GSA, presented ten reasons why the chip industry was a bad industry to be in: “Growth has dramatically slowed”, said Decker, “up to the mid-1990s it was 20%  a year; now it’s in single digits.” “Software is now a huge part of production cost. Verification has ...

The Everlasting Vision

The two greatest names in the industry have a common vision – The Connected Home – with these two guys behind the vision how can it not become reality? Ahem. Quite easily actually. In his keynote speech at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show (CES),Bill  Gates was saying how Microsoft is producing the standards which can enable the networked home. A week ...

Should The EU Subsidise Semiconductors?

At every meeting of European microelectronics R&D organisations – the same two questions are asked: Should governments subsidise microelectronics R&D? and: If governments subsidise R&D how big a share should go to large companies and how big a share should go to small companies? In November 2003, in Berlin, at the MEDEA+ meeting the issues were raised again. “In the ...

The European Semiconductor Industry Strategy

The European semiconductor industry strategy was set out a year or two ago by a former CEO of Infineon, Peter Bauer.  Though Europe’s chip industry is smaller than it was – only representing 10% of worldwide IC production, – it is more focused and more productive than it was, said Bauer.  The European semiconductor industry is very important in that ...

The $1000 A Day Man

In 1914 Tom Watson left NCR to become president of Computing Tabulating Recording Company at a salary of $25,000 a year plus 1,200 shares – representing about 1% of the company’s equity (which never to grew above 3%) – plus 5% of the company’s profits after paying tax and dividends. On his first working day, Monday May 4th, he was ...

Spectre

The spectre of commoditisation haunts CEOs. One CEO who had to face it was Rich Beyer who was CEO at Elantec, Intersil and Freescale . When he took over as CEO of the No.1 WiFi chip company Intersil, Beyer decided to get out of WiFi chips. The direction he headed in was developing  general purpose, high performance, proprietary product. “General ...

When Microelectronics Investment Generated Jobs

AMD got going partly thanks to an investment from Siemens which had a sizeable stake in the company for many years, and AMD’s relationship with Germany continued for many years afterwards with Germany contributing some $3 billion to AMD’s fab building operations. AMD’s first fab in Dresden, Fab 30, attracted guaranteed loans of $708m plus grants and allowances of $287m plus ...

Pissing Away A Million Dollars

Although Fairchild co-invented the IC it was not a done deal that it would be made by them, recounts Bo Lojek in his History of Semiconductor Engineering. Tom Bay, vp marketing, took the view that, if Fairchild went into IC production, the company would lose its transistor customers. At a meeting in November 1960, with Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore and Jay ...

Epic Success

25 years ago Jorma Ollila was put in charge of Nokia’s mobile phone business. “In 1990, the mobile phone business at Nokia was the world No. 2, but it had not been profitable for three years”, recalls Ollila, “the business had huge growth but we did not have sufficient volume to make it profitable.” Another problem was the lack of ...