Spansion after Cypress merger: What automotive industry can expect

January 14, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Past December, analog chipmaker Cypress announced to merge with Flash company Spansion. Since the latter plays a significant role in automotive ECU units, customers in these markets were unsettled. Spansion CEO John Kispert explains which effects the merger will have on the company's business.

In a nutshell, the impact of the merger will be about zero. "There won't be any change in our automotive business", Kispert said. Likewise, the Spansion brand will be continued unchanged. "This is a merger of equals", he said. "The idea of a takeover is a wrong visual". Since the companies have complementary product lines - no overlap - no product lines will be phased out as a direct consequence of the merger.

In the memory space at large, Cypress serves the market for high-performance volatile memory products (SRAM). In contrast, Spansion is focusing on non-volatile "We'll be able to roll out more products under the Spansion brand", Kispert said. Spansion will benefit from the merger in that it will be able to transfer Cypress' virtual IP of highly configurable devices to its own product line, addressing the needs of customers in the automotive industry. "We'll be able to combine their technologies and building blocks - in particular for graphics, voice recognition, and capacitive touch solutions - and combine them with our technology", Kispert explained. With the abovementioned technologies, Spansion will be able to devise new solutions for the central cluster in the car. Such products can be expected within three to four months - "perhaps as early as April", he said.

Besides centre stack and dashboard, the company also will develop products aiming at applications in the engine compartment within three to six months.

With respect to the sales organisations, there won't be any changes as well. Spansion customers can expect to see the same contact points and deal with the same sales structure. "The only change is that there will be more cash flow to support development", Kispert announced. "If there is anything that will change: New products will be rolled out faster. We will have a larger R&D organisation, larger component libraries and more resources."

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