Motorola, Lucent in joint DSP initiative

Motorola, Lucent in joint DSP initiative
Move seen as countermeasure to Texas Instruments’ domination. David Manners. Yesterday (Tuesday) Motorola and Lucent Technologies announced in San Francisco, London and Tokyo a joint initiative to pursue DSP development. The move is seen as a countermeasure to the increasing dominance in the DSP market of Texas Instruments (TI). According to Dataquest, TI had a 33.7 per cent share of the $3.6bn 1997 DSP market which grew 53 per cent last year and is expected to grow 30 per cent this year. Lucent Technologies and Motorola are the No. 2 and No. 3 players in DSP, with respective market shares of 24.3 per cent and 10.3 per cent. The two companies’ combined DSP revenues are $1.26bn compared to TI’s $1.23bn. However, the bare figures do not illustrate TI’s grip on the fastest growing application area for DSP – mobile communications. According to Rich Templeton, executive v-p at TI, over half of all digital mobile phones made every year uses a TI DSP, while the digital mobile phone market will grow by 45 per cent this year to reach 125 million units. “This puts TI in a unique position to provide total solutions,” says Tom Engibous, TI’s president and chief executive officer. “While there is no shortage of competitors in this market, it is clear that no one has the depth of technology, products and support tools that our customers need. It’s the difference between making the spark plug or building the engine.” With TI looking to take the market away from its competitors by delivering fully integrated mobile phone solutions, there are fears among competitors that any extension of TI’s dominance could be a threat. Hence the Motorola-Lucent tie-up. “If TI could rule the DSP world, it will rule the whole world of communications – that could be dangerous,” says Dr Ulrich Schumacher, president of Siemens Semiconductors.


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