ST through the years
A quick look at ST’s development from inception to its future plans
1879: UK electric engineer Elihu Thomson forms Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1879 with American Inventor Edwin Houston.
1892: Thomson-Houston Electric Company merges with Edison General Electric Company under the name General Electric Company and forms a Paris-based sister company dubbed Compagnie Francaise Thomson-Houston (CFTH)
1957: Italian entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti founds Societa Generale Semiconduttori (SGS). SGS is one of the very first semiconductor manufacturers to be set outside Texas and California.
1964: SGS merges with co-national competitor ATES to form SGS-ATES
1966: SFTH merges with Hotchkiss-Brandt under the name Thomson-Brandt
1968: The electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merges with Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF) to form Thomson-CSF. Thomson Brandt maintains a significant shareholding in this company (approximately 40 per cent).
1981: Francois Mitterand is elected French President, the first left-wing French leader after 23 years. Mass nationalisation of companies ensues and Thomson-Brandt becomes state-run under the name Thomson SA. Soon after, Thomson SA merges with Thomson-CSF.
1981: Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff’s relations with Italy have never been stronger. Although Mintoff was always contrary to the strategy of attracting large factories to Malta, a deal with SGS ATES is reached for it to open an assembly plant in Kirkop.
1982: Thomson SA creates Thomson Semiconducteurs. The company also included shareholding by US company Mostek, SILEC, Eurotechnique, EFCIS and SESCOCEM.
1984: A new wafer fab is launched in Singapore. The site nowadays employs 6,000 people.
1987: Thomson SA purchases RCA and General Electric Consumer electronics from General Electric Company. In the same year, Thomson SA and SGS ATES merge to form SGS-Thomson. In the first year, SGS Thomson registers sales of US$851 million. It immediately ranks as 14th largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world.
1989: Sales exceed US$1 billion, shooting SGS-Thomson up to 12th largest.
1989: SGS-Thomson acquires British company Inmos
1991: Sales plummet to US$1.36 billion from the previous year’s US$1.44 billion. SGS loses its 12th best-selling ranking to Samsung Semiconductors of South Korea.
1992: With sales of US$1.9 billion, Samsung shoots up to 11th place.
1994: SGS-Thomson purchases Nortel’s semiconductor activities and floats its first shares on the Paris and New York Stock Exchanges.
1995: A silicon design centre is opened within the India base.
1996: SGS sells a record of US$4.1 billion and ranks itself as the 10th largest in the world.
1998: Thomson SA withdraws its shareholding from SGS-Thomson, which in turn re-brands into STMicroelectronics and floats shares on the Milan Stock Exchange.
2001: With sales of US$6.36 billion, STMicroelectronics is the second largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world, following world leader Intel.
2002: STMicroelectronics acquires Alcatel’s Microelectronics division and enters a successful partnership project with TSMS, Philips and Freescale – the company formerly known as Motorola Semiconductors.
2004: An ST six inch fab in Rennes, France, shuts down.
2005: After steady growth, ST ranks 5th largest in the world after Intel, Samsung, Toshiba and Texas Instruments. With a global market share of around 4 per cent, it holds its rank since.
2006: The India base is further expanded, and shifted from Noida to Greater Noida.
2007: ST diversifies into Flash Memory Activities, after entering in partnership with Intel.
2008: ST signs a joint venture agreement with NXP to create a new wing for mobile activities. ST owns 80% of this new company.
2009: The NXP partnership involves further investment in India. A new design centre employing over 250 people opens on 5 January.
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