News | Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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.
December of the same year saw the re-election of the Malta Labour Party with Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as Prime Minister.

1982: Thomson SA creates Thomson Semiconducteurs. The company also included shareholding by US company Mostek, SILEC, Eurotechnique, EFCIS and SESCOCEM.
In April of the same year, then Labour Minister Joe Grima inaugurates the new SGS-Thomson site in Kirkop.

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.
SGS launches its first base in Noida, India to conduct software engineering activities.

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.
SGS’ first investment in China is launched. After it had been operating assembly plants in Morocco, Malta and Malaysia, the conglomerate opens a new assembly plant in Shenzen, China and employs a workforce of 3,300.

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.
ST lays first stone at the site of its future packaging and test facility in Longgang, China, which will assemble and test STMicro’s power conversion devices, among others. The press reports the 20,000sqm site would employ as many as 5000 people when it is fully built.

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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28 January 2009

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