Home » Geopolitics » The endgame for ST-Ericsson, other SoC vendors like Allwinner to benefit tremendously from Ericsson’s advanced thin modems

The endgame for ST-Ericsson, other SoC vendors like Allwinner to benefit tremendously from Ericsson’s advanced thin modems

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Core information:

As ST-Ericsson: Fundamental repositioning for modem, APE and ModAps spaces [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 8, 2012] was considered impossible after STMicroelectronics and Texas Intruments are exiting the mobile market as there is no chance to compete with aggressive SoC vendors from PRC and the market #2 MediaTek from Taiwan [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 12, 2012] now we have the endgame of ST-Ericsson as decided by its parent companies.

Note that modemless SoC vendors like Allwinner, Rockchip etc. will tremedously benefit from this type of endgame, as Ericsson will become a modem-only SoC vendor with the so called thin modem business taken over. This part of ST-Ericsson is dealing with the highly strategic and competitive LTE multimode thin modems (including 2G, 3G and 4G multimode), i.e. the well proven in last year trials Thor M7400 SoC solution (to come in devices of H2 2013), and its enhanced (with Single RF Chip Carrier Aggregation and ability to achieve 150Mbps) mass market follow-up, the Thor M7450 SoC solution (designed in 28nm, now sampling and to come in devices of 2014) based on the revolutionary architecture introduced in Thor M7400 which enables market-leading power consumption. All the so called legacy modems (as well as the remaining parts of the ST-Ericsson business) will be taken over by STMicroelectronics, but no further development will be done for them (and only selective development for the remaining parts of the ST-Ericsson business).

Financial responsibility for the respective businesses was taken over by the two parent companies from March 1st, 2013. The break up will be completed in Q3 2013. While Ericsson and STMicroelectronics will take over around 1800 and 950 people (employees and contractors) respectively. Of the remaining workforce approx. 1600 will be be made redundant in the process. For the remaining 200 employees and contractors in the so called connectivity business the future will be decided by the outcome of selling that business.

Here are

  • the details,

and then

  • a collection of related press releases

Details

STMicroelectronics, Ericsson End Venture After Failed Sale [Bloomberg, March 18, 2013]

“In 2009 the situation was different, we started with a great base of European customers,” STMicroelectronics Chief Executive Officer Carlo Bozotti said on a conference call. “Unfortunately this customer base has changed.”
Potential buyers that were approached, including customer Samsung Electronics Co., declined to make an offer, people familiar with the matter said last week. Samsung is “a great customer for us and we continue to work for a lot of products with this company,” Bozotti said today, declining to comment on any talks for Samsung taking over the venture.

STMicro, Ericsson split mobile chip unit, 1,600 jobs go [Reuters, March 18, 2013]

“All possible scenarios were considered but the option announced today was always a real possibility,” STMicro chief executive Carlo Bozotti told a conference call on Monday.

ST takes on mobile chips…but not the market [EETimes, March 18, 2013]

In a conference call Monday morning (March 18) Carlo Bozotti, CEO of ST (Geneva, Switzerland) promised continued support for ST-Ericsson’s existing products and customers but also indicated that ST would not be trying to replicate ST-Ericsson’s platform-level engagement with the mobile devices market. This approach puts a question-mark over the future relevance of ST’s fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) manufacturing process, a proprietary technology that is out of the mainstream of global CMOS manufacturing, but which has reportedly shown technical advantages for mobile applications where power consumption and battery life are key parameters.

ST will not continue the so-called ModAp – ModAp is the integration of the application processor and the modem in one chip – in terms of new development,” said Bozotti during the conference call. “Of course, we will go on as long as needed with the existing products to support our customers. So we have not called – and we will not call – for any end of life.”
Moving on to stand-alone application processors, Bozotti said: “Of course our focus area is the digital consumer, is automotive. In the case of portable equipment we will not offer a complete platform for the market. However, we may develop dedicated solutions using our FD-SOI technologies for high volume requirements in the area of portable equipment.”
With regard to the decision to exit the joint venture Bozotti said: “This is extremely intense R&D. The dynamic of the wireless market is with increasing polarization in terms of key customers in this market. And also we are seeing an increasing trend of vertical integration of their activities including the design and manufacture of semiconductor chips,” Bozotti said.

Ericsson’s Management Hosts Strategic Way Forward For ST-Ericsson Conference (Transcript) [Seeking Alpha, March 18, 2013]

image

In April of 2012, last year, ST-Ericsson announced its strategic plan. And in October of 2012, Ericsson and ST together announced that we are, as parents, conducting a strategic review of the business plan and the future ownership structure of the joint venture. In — on December 10 of the last year, 2012, ST then makes an announcement that they intend to exit as a shareholder in ST-Ericsson. And then following that announcement, Ericsson, on December 20, announces to all of you that we have taken a decision to not acquire the full majority of ST-Ericsson. Now during a few months here in the beginning of the year, we have been exploring various strategic options for the ST-Ericsson assets, and that’s obviously the context of today’s call.

Key Points

  • Ericsson and STMicroelectronics have agreed on a separation of the
    company into three parts – Ericsson takes on thin modem operations

The aim that we have with this takeover is obviously to maximize the value. And also, we believe that the modems here have a good fit into the strategies of our company. ST-Ericsson, then, unfortunately will have to carry out the restructuring activity in the remaining — remainder of the joint venture, we’ll come back to that.

  • Agreement aims to maximize assets and the future plans for both
    parent companies as it relates to their respective strategies
  • ST-Ericsson to restructure current operations prior to separation
  • The closing of the transaction is expected during Q3, subject to
    regulatory approvals
  • Costs for implementing this strategic plan, including Ericsson’s part of
    ST-Ericsson’s restructuring, is provided for in the provisions of SEK
    3.3 B. taken in 2012

image

So how will this work? So if we look at the split-up of the joint venture, and we again start with Ericsson on the right-hand side of this slide: We take on the design, the development and the sales of the LTE multimode thin modems, and that includes, then, 2G, 3G and 4G multimode. This will be approximately 1,800 employees and contractors. The main sites will be Sweden, Germany, India and China. And we will then be financially responsible for this part of the JV from March 1, 2013.
On the ST side, they will take over the existing products in the JV other than the LTE modems, then, and then also all other related business as well as certain assembly and test facilities. This will be approximately 950 employees and with the main sites being France and Italy. And they will also then be financially responsible for that from 1st of March this year.
In the JV, then, they will — it will be then restructuring activity that have commenced today. And the remainder of the joint venture will then be, over time here, reduced and run down. And then also, we will look at selling the connectivity business. All in all, this is approximately 1,600 employees and contractors, and you’ll have around 200 of those being employees and contractors in the connectivity business. So this is the split-up of the JV.

Modems of Strategic Value for Industry

      • imageEricsson takes control of the thin modem business targeting smartphones and tablets
        – Significant amounts invested to establish industry leading technology and IP
        – Leverage our heritage and investment in leading research, global standardization and industry leading infrastructure solutions
      • Thin modem architecture covers
        – Low power, highly integrated multi-mode multiband modems for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, TDSCDMA, HSPA+, LTE (TDD/FDD), LTEAdvanced
        – Widest array of frequency bands and a feature set that includes Single RF Chip Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE and IMS
First of all, we’ve said in the past that we believe that the modem assets have a strategic value to the wireless industry, so this is consistent with what we’re trying to explain here. We are taking over the thin modem business, and the target market is the smartphones and the tablets. We’ve invested significant amounts of money to establish this position from a product perspective, from a testing perspective and where we are with the thin modems today within the joint venture. This also leverages our heritage and the investment in our R&D standardization and in, of course, our leading infrastructure solutions.
In terms of the thin modem architecture and what it covers, we believe we have advantages on low power. It’s highly integrated multimode, multi-baseband, with a variety of GSM, GPRS, EDGE, TD, HSPA, LTE TDD/FDD and then LTE Advanced. So it’s very comprehensive. And of course, some of the other features that will — sets this apart: It’s a Single RF Chip Carrier Aggregation. It includes VoLTE and IMS.

Total Addressable Market

      • image+400 m thin modem units in 2013 for smartphones/tablets
      • Best estimate of the market for thin modems is an ASP of approximately USD 13-18 in 2013.
      • Ericsson aims to be top 3 in that market
      • Connected devices: M2M, Modules (via industrial partners), and other data centric devices
      • License business model towards ModAp market: +400 m ModAp market
… in terms of the market itself that we’re targeting. Again, focus on the thin modems, and we see over 400 million units on the thin modems in 2013. That’s the green area, and that’s growing at 10%. We see the average sales price of approximately $13 to $18. And it’s — our aspiration is to be in the top 3 in this market.
In addition, there are other markets to connected devices: machine-to-machine, modules, data-centric devices. And then of course, there’s an opportunity to move toward a license business model with the ModAp in the ModAp market. But we’re very clear: the thin modem is a — going to be our focus, it’s going to be a focused organization. And again, it’s a 400 million unit in 2013, moving to greater than 600 million, from a market perspective, in 2017.

Next Steps and Ambitions

image

If we then look at the next steps. So we will now obviously finalize the formal break-up of the JV. ST-Ericsson will carry out the necessary restructuring of what this will remain — will — what will remain in the JV, and then we will move on with the necessary approvals. We think that the break-up will be completed by the third quarter 2013.
If we look at the product portfolio, then. The modem 7450 will have a volume ramp-up in the first half of 2014. And then it will be — the follow-up product will be the M7500. That work — will have a volume ramp-up in the first half of 2015. When we look at these — we are excited about the modem company, obviously, and the thin modem products. We will look at success in an 18- to 24-month time frame. Again, as Doug mentioned, the — our ambition is to be top 3 in the thin modem market and, of course, that this segment should add to Ericsson overall profitability.

Introducing ST-Ericsson latest advanced LTE modem  (This is a slideshow without audio) [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013] i.e. the M7450

[the previous transcript continued]
Question-and-Answer Session

So what we’ve been trying to tell you is that we take over the thin modem products, which is, today, it’s 7400 which the mass-market product will be 7450. The legacy modem products will all be with ST, so this is the thin modem business. And all the assumptions around the ramp-up and so forth is in this slide: We have — the first half of 2014 will be the volume ramp-up of 7450, first half of 2015 will be the ramp-up of M7500. So that’s the business that Ericsson is taking over. And it’s correct to assume that, this year, in 2013, we don’t think there will be a lot of revenue on these modems.

Q: … I guess I would have thought that, if your position in thin modem multimode LTE was that exciting and an established semis company might have been better positioned to leverage that. …
… we … think that the modem, thin modem, business has a strategic value for the industry. We think it’s important, with more alternatives. That is — obviously goes hand-in-hand with our company overall mission around the network society, 50 billion connected devices, and so forth. So from that point of view, I think the strategic intent is quite clear. I also think that we have been reviewing a lot of different strategic options. This, what we present today, is the best solution out of all the different options that we have looked at. And we are here today to really welcome the modem company into Ericsson. And we are also convinced that we will be able to add value to the industry, which we have been stating for, for quite some time now.
… first and foremost, we have a product, okay? That product is in the market. It‘s been trialed, so the development effort has been worthwhile. We also have customers. I also think that, Ericsson working with the modem company and other partners in the industry, we have a very important role to play when it comes to connecting the access points with the networks. And I think we have — I think we have a very good role to play in this, and also very skilled engineers. That kind of work together end to end.
Q: … you’ve said your ambition is to be a top 3 player in this market. So would this mean that you may have to raise your investments in this business going forward? And secondly, you mentioned good customer traction with your existing thin modems, but I believe 7400 was being sampled, too, last year. But you are essentially indicating that there will be no revenue for — from 7400 this year. So I mean, how does this change with 7450? Are you already seeing some customers signing up on the product?
… We have — first and foremost, what we will take over once this — we have gotten all of the regulatory approvals is a thin modem operation with around 1,800 employees and contractors. We think that — given the portfolio ambition and the sales ambition we have, that the resources we have in that unit will be sufficient to deliver on the ambitions. So that’s what we have said and that’s what we will repeat again.

Showcasing Thor M7400 at CES [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2013]

[0:34] It is AVAILABLE NOW and you will see it IN your favorite PRODUCTS 2nd HALF THIS YEAR [0:39]
[the previous transcript continued]
Just to start with the — as you say, the 7400, that has been in customer testing. It’s been in field operator testing in the past, first global field operator testing. The 7450 has always been our expected mass product. 7450 has a smaller footprint, carrier aggregation and a variety of different other attributes, but it’s based on the 7400 software that has gone through this testing. So we’ve had very positive feedback and interest on the 7400, in terms of the architecture, and certainly on the 7450 and our current plans and timelines that we have with the 7450.
Q: So basically, if I look at the market, most of your competition is moving towards an integrated model where you have baseband and apps processor, but it seems that you are trying to focus more on the modem technology. And I’m just trying to understand what do you — why do you think this strategy is going to be more successful than what your competition is doing. And also, basically, your ambition is to be a top 3 player in this market long term. Once we get there, what do you think would be the long-term profitability in this business?
What we’re doing is we have been a very focused team, just as Jan said. As we’ve made this split, it’s going to be a very focused, competent team that’s just focused on the thin modems. As we presented earlier, we believe there’s a big-enough market in the thin modem area. And certainly, our expertise is more on the modem side than the application processor side, and that’s where we want to put our focus and our strength.
… then on the profitability, I think that what we will — the way we will measure success here in this business will be — will obviously be around achieving a top 3 position in the thin modem market. We have talked about the size of that market in terms of 400 million units, approximately, for 2013; also with the ASP there of between $13 and $18. We also will measure success in getting high volumes of the 7450 modem. And then we will also measure success when this LTE thin multimode modem business adds to the Ericsson group profitability. So those are the first, I would say, midterm objectives. And as we have said before, we will measure this in an 18- to 24-months perspective, so that’s kind of the time frame. We are — we also, then, have given you an indication on the resources in the unit that we take over, and we have also said that we think that this will be sufficient for the product portfolio ambition and so forth. So I think we have given you quite a lot for you to model a possible break-even point and so forth of this business.
Q: I would like to start quickly on the — well, what you’re planning to do actually with the ModAp business. So STMicro told us this morning that they are planning to discontinue basically working on that. And you are now clearly focusing on making your same — standalone modem. But do you have the ambition to eventually license your IP so that other companies that don’t have the existing modem capabilities are able to do ModAp processors?
Yes. So our primary focus is going to be the thin modem product itself. We certainly will look at machine-to-machine connected devices and potential for licensing the thin modem to customers that have the application processor. And that’s probably where we are right now in terms of our business plan and our revenue models.
Q: … as you fairly mentioned, there’s only one company shipping such products today, but there is also a lot of roadmaps that we’ve seen from some other of your — some of your other new competitors now are planning to release this kind of products as well at the end of this year and early next year. So how do you expect that to play over the long term? Do you think you have something that already gives you a head start of 6 month or 1 year on this front?
… we feel very committed to this thin modem because we have been monitoring the progress of not only ours but our competition in terms of the attributes and the characters of the unique selling points. We’ve invested a lot in this thin modem. We’ve seen the test results and where we see going forward with the 7450. So we’re confident, but we also know it’s going to be a tough market. But as we said in the past 6 months, we believe this is an asset that’s important to the industry.
Q: … will it be treated as licensing revenues?
No.

Demonstrating 150Mbps with Thor M7450 [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

THOR M7450 – LTE ADVANCED [ST-Ericsson product microsite, Feb 24, 2013]

Bringing Carrier Aggregation to the mainstream market
imageWith the roll out of LTE and LTE Advanced technologies, device manufacturers face a number of new challenges. Operators require terminals that support an increased number of frequency bands and consumers expect increased data speed and improved battery lifetime. Device makers, however, cannot compromise device design and will need modem solutions that can do more within the same footprint.
Carrier Aggregation is one of the most important features in LTE Advanced that helps to address these challenges. It overcomes the fragmentation of the frequency spectrum by using multiple component carriers to increase the transmission bandwidth and data rate for an individual user.
The Thor M7450 is a multimode multiband platform supporting Carrier Aggregation with a single chip RF transceiver and support for over 17 bands. The complete modem is a highly integrated two chip solution with integrated memory. It delivers download speeds up to 150Mbps and is based on the revolutionary architecture introduced in Thor M7400 which enables market-leading power consumption.
Thor M7450 solves the design challenges and adds a number of new features in a solution footprint which makes it possible for phone manufacturers add LTE advanced without increasing size.
HIGHLIGHTS
For global devices
    • LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, GSM
    • Single radio transceiver with support for 17+ bands
      A streamlined modem
        • Highly integrated two chip solution with integrated RAM and single chip RF Carrier Aggregation
        • Power efficient architecture
          For all devices
            • Interfaces for data devices and smartphone application processors
            • Complete and pre-tested reference design

            Thor M7450 Carrier Aggregation [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

            THOR™ M7400 LTE AND HSPA+ [ST-Ericsson product microsite, Feb 15, 2011]

            Paves the way for global LTE devices
            The Thor™ M7400 is a new generation of multimode mobile broadband modem. It imagesupports the latest LTE and HSPA+ technologies. The small form factor and high power efficiency of the M7400 enable slim form factor smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband enabled devices. The advanced multimode RF design offers new level of flexibility to support regional LTE FDD/TDD/HSPA bands in Asia, Europe and North America in combination with global HSPA/EDGE.
            A breakthrough in modem architecture delivers an optimum combination of hardware acceleration, for lowest power consumption, and flexible execution in software allowing feature and performance enhancements in existing hardware.
            Equipped with the latest communication interfaces it enables efficient integration between application processor and modem, including memory-less modem design when combining with an application processor.
            HIGHLIGHTS
            Truly global

              • LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, EDGE
              • Radio supporting up to 16 LTE/WCDMA/GSM bands
              A streamlined modem
                • Smallest two-chip thin modem solution
                • Power efficient architecture
                • Highly integrated radio solution
                  For all devices
                    • Interfaces for data devices and smartphone application processors
                    • Memory-less modem design possible when combined with an application processor
                    • Complete and pre-tested reference design

                    Making a CS fallback from LTE to 3G, and back again, while streaming video [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

                    Demonstration with ST-Ericsson’s Thor M7400, while doing a CS fallback from LTE to 3G while a video is being streamed. The demonstration shows on the session continuity, keeping the media stream while switching between the different modes.

                    CS-Fallback – An Introduction [WirelessMoves, Feb 19, 2012]

                    One approach to deploying LTE without packet switched voice call functionality at the beginning is to instruct mobile devices to use a 2G and 3G network when the user makes or receives a voice call and return to LTE afterwards. This solution is referred to as CS fallback and has been specified in 3GPP TS 23.272. As it’s likely that it will be deployed over time in quite a number of networks and used over many years, I thought I have once again a closer look at the specs and write a little primer about it. A little warning: This is somewhat of a propeller head post which requires some background knowledge on the circuit switched core network of GSM and UMTS and how LTE works.
                    International Roaming
                    As CS fallback is not a Voice over IP technology, it is likely that it will mostly be used in LTE networks before VOLTE becomes available. Furthermore, CS fallback can be used as a backup solution in roaming scenarios in which voice capable LTE devices are roaming in a foreign LTE network in which VOLTE is not available or in case no roaming agreement is in place for IMS voice services.
                    Pros and Cons of CS fallback
                    The main advantage of CS fallback is that it will enable network operators and device manufacturers to introduce LTE devices with a single cellular radio chip before VOLTE becomes available and network are deployed widely enough to prevent having to hand over the call to UMTS or GSM too often (how that is done is another story).

                    Summary
                    CS fallback sounds easy but from the description above I think it is quite clear that it is not quite that. A new interface to be implemented in the MSC software and the MME, the use of roaming retry functionality that is not used so far (please correct me if I’m wrong) and the new CS fallback flag in the location update message will keep network and device engineers busy for a while. A lot of effort for a “temporary” solution.

                    Making VoLTE [Voice over LTE] voice calls that last [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

                    A demonstration using ST-Ericsson’s Thor M7400 and NovaThor L8540 platforms, showing on the high audio quality and the low power consumption

                    What is VoLTE | Voice over LTE | Tutorial [Radio-Electronics.com, Feb 18, 2010]

                    The Voice over LTE, VoLTE scheme was devised as a result of operators seeking a standardised system for transferring voice traffic over LTE. Originally LTE was seen as a completely IP cellular system just for carrying data, and operators would be able to carry voice either by reverting to 2G / 3G systems or by using VoIP.
                    In many ways the implementation of VoLTE at a high level is straightforward. The handset or phone needs to have software loaded to provide the VoLTE functionality. This can be in the form of an App.
                    The network then requires to be IMS compatible.
                    While this may appear straightforward, there are many issues for this to be made operational, especially via the vagaries of the radio access network where time delays and propagation anomalies add considerably to the complexity.

                    See also: LTE / Voice calls and  LTE / Enhanced voice quality [both in Wikipedia]

                    The world’s first dual mode high definition VoLTE [STEricssonVideos YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

                    The demonstration was conducted at China Mobile’s booth using ST-Ericsson’s commercial Thor LTE multimode modem, and connected to Ericsson’s commercially verified LTE FDD/TDD converged network and mature IMS platform.

                    Company press releases

                    ST-ERICSSON UNVEILS ULTRAFAST THOR M7450 LTE ADVANCED MODEM WITH FIRST SINGLE RF CARRIER AGGREGATION SOLUTION [press release, Feb 24, 2013]

                    Thor M7450 Modem includes support for 150Mbps and an extensive number of frequency bands.
                    Barcelona, February 24, 2013 – Today at Mobile World Congress 2013, ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced the Thor™ M7450 LTE Advanced modem which uses a single radio for Carrier Aggregation. The M7450 supports all relevant 3GPP specified frequency bands having 10 flexible RF ports enabling 17 frequency bands or more in the same device. With this modem, ST-Ericsson significantly increases the number of LTE bands compared to devices currently on the market allowing device manufacturers to address a global market with less number of device variants.
                    With the roll out of LTE and LTE Advanced technologies, device manufacturers face a number of new challenges. Operators require terminals that support an increased number of frequency bands and consumers expect increased data speed and improved battery lifetime. Phone makers, however, cannot compromise device design and will need modem solutions that can do more in the same footprint.
                    “There is an ever increasing demand for mobile broadband access no matter where you are in the world, making the ability to efficiently handle data traffic a top priority for our customers and operators,” says Staffan Iveberg, Senior Vice President of Thor Modem Solutions for ST-Ericsson. “Next-generation modems need to combine extensive frequency band support to offer flexibility for operators and markets – all without increasing the modem size. ST-Ericsson is leading the way with the Thor M7450 LTE Advanced modem.”
                    Today, many operators only have 5 or 10 MHz bandwidth allocations in each frequency band for LTE which is insufficient for LTE Category 3 or 4 with data rates up to 100 or 150 Mbps. Carrier Aggregation allows bandwidth from two different frequency bands to be combined enabling higher data rates.
                    “With the Thor M7450, we are continuing to innovate in modem technology to bring increased download speed without compromising on size or power consumption,” continued Iveberg. “No one else is delivering a complete LTE Advanced modem that is both fast and power efficient in this compact size.”
                    The Thor M7450 is a two chip solution with integrated RAM to enable a compact size. The M7450 is designed in 28nm CMOS technology and builds on the revolutionary architecture introduced in Thor M7400 which delivers market-leading power consumption. It supports 3GPP Release 10, LTE category 4, with downlink speeds up to 150Mbps and VoLTE. With LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, HSPA+, GSM and TD-SCDMA integrated in the same chipset, the M7450 addresses the need for a simple and cost effective solution for widespread global adoption of LTE devices.
                    The Thor M7450 is being demonstrated by ST-Ericsson in Barcelona this week and is currently sampling with customers.
                    For additional information, a white paper is available here.

                    CHANGING THE GAME: ST-ERICSSON UNVEILS NOVATHOR™ FAMILY OF SMARTPHONE PLATFORMS COMBINING ITS MOST ADVANCED APPLICATION PROCESSORS WITH THE LATEST GENERATION OF MODEMS [press release, Feb 15, 2011]

                    ST-Ericsson today announced three new application processors, the Nova A9600, A9540, A9500 together with two next generation modems the Thor M7400 and M7300 as well as two additions to its complete highly integrated smartphone platforms the NovaThor T5008 and U4500.
                    ST-Ericsson’s new Thor modems, the Thor M7400 and the Thor M7300, support the latest LTE and HSPA+ dual carrier technologies, while preserving backward compatibility with existing 3G/2G networks, in a small and highly-integrated radio solution that supports up to eight LTE/WCDMA/GSM frequency bands. These modems enable the development of truly global smartphones, tablets and many other mobile broadband-enabled devices.
                    The Thor M7400 can connect to 2G, 3G, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, HSPA+ dual carrier and LTE FDD/TDD networks. It offers peak download speeds of up to 100Mbps in LTE networks. The Thor M7400 supports voice calls via fallback to circuit-switched networks and via the VoLTE (Voice over LTE) standard, it is sampling Q2 2011.

                    ST-ERICSSON’S HIGH-PERFORMANCE MODEMS PAVE THE WAY FOR GLOBAL LTE DEVICES [press release, Feb 15, 2011]

                    … The Thor M7400 is the industry’s smallest and first two-chip LTE/HSPA+ modem, which also continues the low power consumption track record from ST-Ericsson’s market-leading HSPA+ modems. …
                    … “In Thor, ST-Ericsson’s engineers have achieved the optimum combination of hardware acceleration, for low power consumption, and execution in software, enabled by our in-house vector processing technology, which offers the flexibility to continuously add features and performance enhancements to existing chipset hardware,” said Jörgen Lantto, executive vice president, chief technology and strategy officer of ST-Ericsson. “Our radio solution is unique in that it supports the regional LTE FDD/TDD bands in use in Asia, Europe and North America, as well as HSPA/EDGE networks worldwide, allowing device manufacturers to offer truly global devices.”
                    The ThorM7400 and ThorM7300 modems are based on a common architecture, enabling ST-Ericsson and its customers to benefit from shorter time-to-market by re-using of modem certification and application processor interfaces across platforms, reducing time-to-market. The new Thor modems are also pin-to-pin compatible which enables customers to completely reuse their design across the two platforms. …
                    Available for operator testing and integration into devices from Q2 2011, the Thor M7400 modem can connect to 2G, 3G, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, HSPA+ dual carrier and LTE FDD/TDD networks. It offers peak download speeds of up to 100Mbps in LTE networks. The ThorM7400 supports voice calls via fallback to circuit-switched networks and via the VoLTE (Voice over LTE) standard.
                    ST-Ericsson developed high-performance vector processing (EVP) to efficiently handle complex computational tasks for all access standards. It is currently used in ST-Ericsson TD-SCDMA platforms.

                    ST-ERICSSON THOR M7400 MODEM SELECTED AS CES 2012 INNOVATIONS HONOREE [press release, Nov 8, 2011]

                    … The ST-Ericsson Thor M7400 4G multimode modem delivers the high power efficiency and compact footprint needed to enable sleek and slim form factor smartphones, tablets and other connected devices. The Thor M7400 is a groundbreaking multimode solution, supporting the latest LTE, HSPA+ and TD-HSPA mobile broadband technologies, and enables efficient integration between application processor and modem.
                    “The Thor M7400 sets a new standard for 4G multimode modems delivering extremely high data performance, low power consumption and size advantage over alternative solutions,” said Jörgen Lantto, executive vice president and chief technology officer at ST-Ericsson. “To further optimize its footprint, the Thor M7400 includes memory-less technology to optimally integrate with application processors in 4G mobile broadband devices. As a result, the Thor M7400 makes ultra-fast web browsing and high speed data connectivity ubiquitous, easy and reliable. We are proud to have our innovative product recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association.”

                    STMicroelectronics Announces Resignation of Didier Lamouche [STMicroelectronics press release, March 11, 2013]

                    STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronic applications, announced today that Didier Lamouche, Chief Operating Officer, whose operational role was suspended when he took the assignment as President and Chief Executive Officer at ST-Ericsson in December 2011, has decided to resign from the company effective March 31, 2013 to pursue other opportunities.
                    “Over the past years Didier has brought his strong contribution to ST, initially as the Chief Operating Officer, and then taking the challenging task to lead ST-Ericsson” saidCarlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST. “We thank him for his outstanding contribution and wish him all the best for his future”.
                    About STMicroelectronics
                    ST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power and automotive products and embedded processing solutions. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people’s life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.
                    In 2012, the Company’s net revenues were $8.49 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com

                    ST-ERICSSON ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT [ST-Ericsson press release, March 11, 2011]

                    Following the STMicroelectronics’ announcement issued earlier today, ST-Ericsson, a joint venture of STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), announced today that Didier Lamouche, president and chief executive officer, has decided to resign from the Company to pursue other opportunities.
                    Hans Vestberg, Chairman of the ST-Ericsson’s board of directors, said: “Didier Lamouche came into ST-Ericsson when the company was in a very challenging situation and has been instrumental in bringing the company to the point where it is more focused on strategy execution, a much lower breakeven point and positive momentum where the new LTE modem-based products are ready for market introduction this year. On behalf of ST-Ericsson’s board, I thank Didier for his strong contribution to ST-Ericsson.”
                    Lamouche will remain in his current position until March 31, 2013.
                    ABOUT ST-ERICSSON
                    ST-Ericsson is a world leader in developing and delivering a complete portfolio of innovative mobile platforms and cutting-edge wireless semiconductor solutions across the broad spectrum of mobile technologies. ST-Ericsson was established as a 50/50 joint venture by STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) in February 2009, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
                    www.stericsson.com 
                    www.twitter.com/STEricssonForum

                    ST-ERICSSON ANNOUNCES GLOBAL WORKFORCE REVIEW [ST-Ericsson press release, March 18, 2011]

                    ST-Ericsson, a joint venture (JV) of STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), today announced a plan for a global workforce review, following the announcement made today by Ericsson and STMicroelectronics about the future of the joint venture.

                    The proposed key steps of agreement between the parent companies include each parent taking on parts of ST-Ericsson. It is proposed that Ericsson will assume approximately 1,800 employees and contractors, with the largest concentrations in Sweden, Germany, India and China. It is also proposed that ST will assume approximately 950 employees, primarily in France and in Italy, to support ongoing business and new products development within ST.

                    In addition, ST-Ericsson is pursuing external options for the future of the connectivity business, which employs around 200 employees worldwide.

                    In connection with the transfer of the majority of its workforce to the parent companies, ST-Ericsson will carry out restructuring of its current operations which could impact some 1,600 employees worldwide, out of which in a range of 500-700 are in Europe, including 400 to 600 positions in Sweden and 50 to 80 positions in Germany.

                    ST-Ericsson – with the support of both parent companies – will honor all obligations to employees, including those related to restructuring.

                    The proposed changes are subject to negotiations with work councils and employee representatives as required.

                    Ericsson and STMicroelectronics agree on strategic way forward for ST-Ericsson [STMicroelectronics press release, March 18, 2013]

                    Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) today announced an agreement on the way forward for the joint venture (JV) ST-Ericsson. As communicated by the parent companies in December 2012, both have been working together toward a strategic solution for the JV.  After months of intensive joint work, the parent companies have selected the strategic option which maximizes their respective future prospects and growth plans.

                    The main steps agreed upon to split up the JV are the following:

                    • Ericsson will take on the design, development and sales of the LTE multimode thin modem products, including 2G, 3G and 4G multimode
                    • ST will take on the existing ST-Ericsson products, other than LTE multimode thin modems, and related business as well as certain assembly and test facilities
                    • Starting the close down of the remaining parts of ST-Ericsson.
                    The formal transfer of the relevant parts of ST-Ericsson to the parent companies is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.
                    After the split up it is proposed that Ericsson will assume approximately 1,800 employees and contractors, with the largest concentrations in Sweden, Germany, India and China.
                    It is also proposed that ST will assume approximately 950 employees, primarily in France and in Italy, to support ongoing business and new products development within ST.
                    Today, it is also announced that Carlo Ferro is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of ST-Ericsson, effective April 1, 2013. Ferro is currently Chief Operating Officer of ST-Ericsson and succeeds Didier Lamouche who, as previously announced, will pursue opportunities outside the company. Ferro will lead the work in securing both business continuity of ST-Ericsson and effective completion of the transition phase.
                    Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson and Chairman of the Board of Directors, ST-Ericsson said: “I welcome Carlo Ferro as the new President and CEO of ST-Ericsson. Carlo has over twenty years of experience in the semiconductor industry and a strong track record in driving and managing complex transformation projects. He has been a contributor to the solid progress ST-Ericsson has made the past year in terms of strategy execution and significantly lowering the breakeven point.”
                    “In line with what we announced in December last year, we have now moved to the next step of our exit process and found a solution with Ericsson that fully aligns with our new strategy”, said Carlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST. “The agreement made with Ericsson represents a major step forward in reaching our new financial model target and allows us to further strengthen the skillsets of our company, by welcoming in ST, at completion, additional strong competences to fuel growth in specific key product areas. Moreover, it protects and leverages the ongoing ST-Ericsson’s business, allowing us to reinforce our relationships with key customers, both of ST and of ST-Ericsson”.
                    With the proposed transfer of competencies from ST-Ericsson, ST will further strengthen its capabilities in the areas of application processors, RF, analog and power as well as software and complex system integration. In addition, ST-Ericsson’s portfolio includes devices that are complementary to ST’s focus on the fastest growing segments of the wireless semiconductor market, such as system-optimized analog mixed signal and power management devices, high-quality, low-power audio and video enhancements and innovative energy harvesting solutions.
                    The agreement is fully in line with ST’s financial model target of an operating margin of 10 percent or more and with plans to reduce quarterly net operating expenses to an average quarterly rate in the range of $600 million to $650 million by the beginning of 2014.
                    In addition, as a result of the agreement, ST expects to incur cash costs, including the covering of ST-Ericsson’s ongoing operations during the transition period and its restructuring costs, in the range of approximately $350 million to $450 million, narrower than the range provided at the end of January 2013.
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