-- In discrete semiconductors, ST achieved a myriad of design wins, including: MDmesh II-based power MOSFETs for a solar-panel application; 1200V IGBTs to be used in a UPS application; bipolar transistors for a leading printer maker; production ramp up of a UHF RF power chip for use in a public-safety mobile radio application; and a worldwide leader in UPS qualified a 600V hyper-fast IGBT for a new platform.
Wireless Product Sector (WPS) Highlights
-- ST-NXP Wireless ramped up production of a 3G cellular platform at a tier-one customer. Additionally, its GSM/GPRS solutions continued to ramp-up in high-volume at major OEMs and were designed-in at leading module makers.
-- ST-NXP Wireless announced mass production of the world's first 3G Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) chipset platform, paving the way for a new range of converged fixed and mobile phones with enhanced multimedia capabilities. The Cellular System Solution 7210 UMA is the first product of its kind that combines UMA and 3G technology in a single solution, enabling 3G mobile phones to switch from cellular to WiFi networks, without breaking the call, allowing users to make cheaper calls and conserve their cellular airtime minutes.
-- ST-NXP Wireless is ramping-up a high-performance audio device for mobile music applications with a leading mobile phone maker. The STw5210 provides outstanding audio quality coupled with longer music playing time thanks to its innovative 'Playback Time Extender' (PTE) technology.
-- ST became the first European company to join the Microsystems Industrial Group (MIG) industry consortium at the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIG is an exclusive industry consortium that was founded in the 1980s to support the Microsystems Technology Laboratories infrastructure and provide direction to the MTL research and educational objectives.
-- ST and INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control, signed a strategic partnership agreement covering next-generation embedded systems. ST and INRIA will identify areas of research to address complex technological needs, enabling them to anticipate and respond to the challenges ahead with solutions shaped by real industry requirements.
All of STMicroelectronics' press releases (including all releases in Q4) are available at www.st.com/stonline/press/news/latest.htm.
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Some of the statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 or Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended) based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those in such statements due to, among other factors:
-- the current economic downturn and ongoing uncertainty in global economic conditions may lead to a further decline in consumer demand in the face of tighter credit and negative financial news. Consequently, demand for our products could be different from our expectations due to factors such as changes in business and economic conditions, the impact on demand for semiconductor products in the key application markets and from key customers served by our products, and changes in customer order patterns including order cancellations, all of which make it extremely difficult to accurately forecast and plan future business activities; -- our ability to adequately utilize and operate our manufacturing facilities at sufficient levels to cover fixed operating costs particularly at a time of decreasing demand for our products due to decline in demand for semiconductor products; -- pricing pressures which are highly variable and difficult to predict; -- the results of actions by our competitors, including new product offerings and our ability to react thereto; -- the financial impact of obsolete or excess inventories if actual demand differs from our anticipations; -- the impact of intellectual-property claims by our competitors or other third parties, and our ability to obtain required licenses on reasonable terms and conditions; -- the outcome of ongoing litigation as well as any new litigation to which we may become a defendant; -- the current volatility in the financial markets and overall economic uncertainty increases the risk that the actual amounts realized in the future on our debt and equity investments will differ significantly from the fair values currently assigned to them; we hold significant non-marketable equity investments in the flash memory market segment through Numonyx, as well as through our current and planned joint venture in the wireless segment; declines in these market segments could result in significant impairment charges, restructuring charges as well as gains/losses on equity investments; our ability to execute successfully our plan to close during the first quarter of 2009 the merger of ST-NXP Wireless with Ericsson Mobile Platforms; -- the effects of hedging, which we practice in order to minimize the impact of variations between the U.S. dollar and the currencies of the other major countries in which we have our operating infrastructure in the currently very volatile currency environments; -- our ability to manage in an intensely competitive and cyclical industry, where a high percentage of our costs are fixed, incurred in currencies other than US dollars; -- our ability to restructure in accordance with our plans if unforeseen events require adjustments or delays in implementation; -- our ability in an intensively competitive environment to secure customer acceptance and to achieve our pricing expectations for high-volume supplies of new products in whose development we have been, or are currently, investing; -- the ability of our suppliers to meet our demands for supplies and materials and to offer competitive pricing; -- significant differences in the gross margins we achieve compared to expectations, based on changes in revenue levels, product mix and pricing, capacity utilization, variations in inventory valuation, excess or obsolete inventory, manufacturing yields, changes in unit costs, impairments of long-lived assets (including manufacturing, assembly/test and intangible assets), and the timing, execution and associated costs for the announced transfer of manufacturing from facilities designated for closure and associated costs, including start-up costs; -- changes in the economic, social or political environment, including military conflict and/or terrorist activities, as well as natural events such as severe weather, health risks, epidemics or earthquakes in the countries in which we, our key customers and our suppliers, operate; and -- changes in our overall tax position as a result of changes in tax laws or the outcome of tax audits, and our ability to accurately estimate tax credits, benefits, deductions and provisions and to realize deferred tax assets.