Logical move at Motorola

Logical move at Motorola
Richard Ball Motorola is to cease development and production of programmable logic as part of its restructuring strategy. None of the 75 staff at the company’s programmable technology centres – at Northwich, Cheshire, and Phoenix in the US – are expected to lose their jobs. “The centres stay open and will become part of the advanced systems technology labs,” said Steve Sellick, marketing manager. “There will be no job losses as far as we can tell.” The UK programmable technology centre was formally Pilkington Microelectronics before its acquisition by Motorola in March 1997. Pilkington developed the underlying technology and architecture for Motorola’s programmable logic. At the time of the takeover, Motorola said the move was part of a major commitment to FPGAs and Europe. However, new entrants to the FPGA sector face tough pressure. Last year, Motorola’s market share in FPGAs was under five per cent. “It’s very difficult to make a strong presence in a market dominated by two players – Altera and Xilinx,” said Nigel Toon, European managing director of Altera. As recently as February, Motorola was announcing new products based on its FPGA architecture. The latest unveiling was for an FPGA with an on-chip microprocessor. The move also marks the end of Motorola’s field programmable analogue array, described as the analogue counterpart to the FPGA. As part of its restructuring, Motorola is to shed 15,000 jobs worldwide, mainly in manufacturing. In the last year, Motorola has also exited the DRAM market. See InsideView


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