STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) announced continued worldwide leadership of the Serial EEPROM market in 2006 – the third successive year – according to market intelligence organization iSuppli*. The iSuppli analysis reports ST with a 2006 market share of 25%, substantially ahead of its nearest competitor, and an increase in sales value of 17.8% despite falling prices. Products contributing to the $278 million sales total include Serial EEPROM devices, memory cards, and RFID tags.
ST performed in 2006 compared to its main competitors, reaching a production volume of 1.7 billion serial EEPROM devices – an increase of more than 22% over 2005. Commenting on the iSuppli results, Benoit Rodrigues, General Manager of ST’s EEPROM Division, said: “We are still the solid leader in EEPROM, with around 25% of the world market, and 2006 sales that were $50 million more than our nearest competitor.”
Rodrigues attributes ST’s success in the market to its policy of continuous improvement in EEPROM technology and manufacturing efficiency and in package innovation, coupled with a long-term commitment to the market that has generated customer confidence. Thanks to its advanced technologies, ST now offers the world’s fastest and highest-density ranges of standard EEPROMs, available in the smallest and most cost-efficient packages. The Company’s major strengths have been the wide product range – with three bus types, and densities up to 1-Mbit now being introduced in the I2C and SPI interface families – and unrivalled production efficiency, using a sub-micron process technology that delivers top-class performance and serves as a reference standard in the industry, in particular in automotive.
ST’s Serial EEPROM devices are used across all market segments, especially in automotive – where they are specified to operate in the -40 to +125 degree C temperature range and comply with the High Reliability Certified Flow (HRCF) standard – and in communications, consumer electronics, industrial and personal computer applications. Gaming, LCD modules, digital TVs and wireless-LAN were particularly strong areas in 2006.
The memory portfolio spans a full range from general-purpose memory chips to application-specific EEPROMs, developed in cooperation with major OEMs driving the development of new markets. ST has a considerable advantage in this area, compared to other memory suppliers, through its strategic alliances with key players in the major market segments. ST’s Application Specific Memories (ASMs) are built on a common non-volatile technology platform, allowing different memory types – OTP, ROM and EEPROM – to be combined on a single chip and to use a range of interfaces.
EEPROMs (Electrically Erasable Programmable Memories) are non-volatile memories that can be electrically rewritten. They offer fine granularity and high flexibility, with byte or page-level updates taking less than 10msec. Their Write/Erase endurance is at least 1 million cycles, more than enough for most applications, making them ideally suited to the storage of parameter information that needs to be updated regularly. Serial EEPROMs use a fast serial interface instead of the traditional parallel interface, and now dominate the EEPROM market. They use the same tiny 8-pin packages for all memory densities, simplifying design for manufacturers and enabling easy memory upgrades.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company’s net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million.
* iSuppli Final 2006 Semiconductor Market Report, published Q1 2007