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Texas Instruments Buys National Semiconductor For $6.5B

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the getting-chippy dept.

Businesses 121

CWmike writes "Texas Instruments on Monday announced it has agreed to acquire semiconductor company National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in an all-cash transaction. TI, which makes low-power chips, said it would combine its 30,000 analog products and advanced manufacturing capabilities with the offerings of National Semiconductor, which makes analog integrated circuits. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in six to nine months, the companies said in a joint statement. Look out, [chip maker name here]?"

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all cash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715416)

dammmmmmm

accounting/finance FYI here... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720888)

In the relevant accounting/finance sense of the term, cash refers to not only piles of physical currency but also to some other highly liquid assets such as bank account balances.

Yes! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715436)

Now they can add new stuff to a new line of graphing calculators! Like, uh...

Re:Yes! (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715896)

Like amazing A/D converters that can saturate an FPGA with data flow. Here's to hoping for a cheap, consumer SDR! :D ...

I'll just wait over there...

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716712)

Last handheld radio I bought was basically a microcontroller and a PLL with some support circuitry. It was well under $50.

Doesn't count?

Higher prices? (1)

Chubcorp (2032990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715448)

So, does this mean that TI prices will be even higher than that of before?

Re:Higher prices? (2)

dohzer (867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715544)

What do you mean? Texas Instruments samples have always been free for me!

Re:Higher prices? (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715880)

Depends I guess, I seem to notice for a lot of things... from archaic 74xx glue logic chips, to SMPS controllers and such, natsemi chips are usually double the price of a identical or similar TI chip.

National has a big selection of random analog stuff that TI doesn't seem to produce, so I guess its a way to get a wider presence...

Not sure about their microprocessors and shit like that - didn't natsemi sell theirs years back anyway? - geode at least.

Re:Higher prices? (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716304)

Is this based on Digikey? I think that Digikey has lower prices for TI chips in general (relative to other retailers). Probably worked out some kind of deal.

Re:Higher prices? (2)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717606)

You don't pay the RRP for a chip though, you get a NSM sales rep (or any company) and you explain that you would like to use their chip, but the competitors chip is better priced and offers similar features. The prices then become more competitive. I'm guessing that won't work for very small numbers of chips, but if you're only using a few what difference does a few dollars make?

Re:Higher prices? (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720666)

If you're a small custom contract electronics shop here in the US with two or three people, a few dollars a chip can make a big difference. Multiply that by how many chips on whatever board you're making and it adds up quickly. Especially in a down economy where manufacturers aren't ordering many custom control boards for production lines or other uses.

Some of the contracts will be quite profitable, but many will be marginal at best. As we said around the shop (no longer in business) "You have to kiss a lot of toads to find a prince."

If you can even buy them (3, Interesting)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716280)

TI no longer keeps stock on many chips. When the distributors run out the factory sits and waits for the orders to come in. Some of these chips have lead times of 26 weeks, half a year! You're basically screwed and have to start bargaining with brokers.

Re:If you can even buy them (2)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717340)

That's been true forever. TI was always the WORST for no-stock/long-lead-time screwage. I can remember screaming at a Hamilton-Avnet rep back in the early 80's that "I could go home tonight and order a baby and have it delivered before that!".

Re:If you can even buy them (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719506)

I agree. I used to use their DACs, been badly burned and had to go through three board revisions: first I used a 4 channel chip, then a 2 channel version of the same thing, then I switched to a similarly performing chip from ADI that was never out of stock, and cost less. The only TI parts I use are a good ADC that always seems to be in stock, and some logic glue that has multiple sources but comes cheapest from TI for some reason.

Another monopoly in the making. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715454)

Get ready to bend over. Chip prices to skyrocket.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715530)

Just like the TI calculators. Yep, those never go down in value, always the same price since the 90s.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (0)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715658)

Just like the TI calculators. Yep, those never go down in value, always the same price since the 90s.

Not if you factor in inflation, which means the price is gradually going up. However the capabilities are also going up.

If the capabilities are going up faster than inflation, then yes, the value is going up.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715708)

However the capabilities are also going up.

Relevant [wordpress.com]

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719610)

Amen. I have a TI-83 circa 1996 and a TI-89 circa 1999, and I don't feel at a disadvantage at all compared to newer models. There are a few MINOR tweaks here and there, but overall they're still about the same critters as the old models.

That said, the fact that they don't change does bode well for students on a budget who want one off the used market. I kept mine because it's a gadget and I like gadgets (though I haven't turned them on in years), but it seems there's always college students dumping their old calculators off on pawn shops after they finish up. If you need one you can usually pick one up pretty cheap from those sources.

Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715720)

Just like the TI calculators. Yep, those never go down in value, always the same price since the 90s.

I'd say the price points go back to the 1970s.

A shameless plug but you can get the functionality of several dedicated handheld calculators in a single app for your smartphone these days: Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] . Scientific, statistics, business, hex and bill/tip. You can even cherry pick the functionality you want and only pay for the "calculators" you need. Handheld calculators are going to largely become a victim of the convergence/consolidation of digital devices. Far fewer people are going to need/want the standalone handheld calculator.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715912)

Looks like it's got a ways to go to catch up even with my good old TI85. No graphs, no matrix math, no stored variables (?), and no scripts. Oh, and it needs a chemistry mode and a units conversion mode. Not saying it is useless but I am not buying it just yet.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716098)

Looks like it's got a ways to go to catch up even with my good old TI85. No graphs, no matrix math, no stored variables (?), and no scripts. Oh, and it needs a chemistry mode and a units conversion mode. Not saying it is useless but I am not buying it just yet.

Fair enough, however the handhelds that I am referring to are simpler than the TI85. Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] is competing against the $30-$50 handhelds from TI and HP, not the $100'ish handhelds. Thats for future versions. :-)

I appreciate the feedback. Its sometimes more useful to hear from those who chose not to buy than those who did.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715984)

If you have an Android phone, and you prefer HP calculators to TI, you have the option of Droid48 [android.com] . It's a port of the X48 project, and it works pretty well for me!

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718426)

RealCalc does everything i need. Gonna try Droid48 though, but i never found a use myself for graphical calculators.

While i'm at it, i might as well ask. What is the most everyday use of a graphical calculator? (and i'm not talking about playing games or applying 1 operator to n values)

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719702)

While i'm at it, i might as well ask. What is the most everyday use of a graphical calculator?

Outside of school? Not a lot for me. They were great for solving complex equations in school (and the graphing capabilities helped A LOT there), but out in the real world they haven't helped nearly as much.

That said, I think a lot of their utility has been diminished by smartphones and/or PDA's. A lot of what made such calculators attractive was their programmability. They were the original "There's an app for that" device for calculations, though of much more limited popularity. Example: I often use my phone for homebrew beer info tracking. A lot of that is database driven where the phones didn't excel, but a lot of it is also simply plugging in numbers to get a result (ie, starting and final specific gravity + temperature to find out ABV of a brew). Phones can do that now.

In a similar vein, when I was preparing for my pilot's license I used an electronic E6B Flight Calculator. Those aren't programmable graphing calculators, but they are also very purpose built devices. After passing my exam though I've never touched my E6B again though - I have an E6B app on my phone that's always with me.

What it comes down to at this point I think is testing. Students can't be allowed to have a fully internet capable smart phone on them while testing, so the more limited calculators allow them more restricted capabilities.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720114)

Well on mine (some time in the 80's?) I know I wrote an analogue clock program for it. It's not a game, right.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717096)

Sadly, professors still live in the past, and they are not going to allow you to use a cellphone during an exam due to fear of cheating/etc.

Also, "Nobody has ever been fired for buying IBM" applies in this field too, and no scientist is going to do any important calculation with some app he downloaded from the market. Same goes for doctors, engineers, etc.

Single-purpose devices are going to exist for a while for the very same reason faxes are still around. People actually write documents on their computers while online through a several mbps connection, then print those docs, and fax them (which is essentially scanning with low b/w resolution, sending using a modem, then printing on a shitty device). The people on the other side will proceed to do whatever they are supposed to do with that document .... on a computer.

But fax is still around because people trust it more than they trust email, as if a PDF file was less tamper-proof than a faxed document (It's actually the other way around).

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717384)

Sadly, professors still live in the past, and they are not going to allow you to use a cellphone during an exam due to fear of cheating/etc.

I've been to grad school in the recent past. Some professors allowed laptops with the caveat that the wifi was disabled and of course no wired connection. Some classes were mathematically oriented and we needed to run specialty computational apps or use a spreadsheet, other classes had essay type answers and the professor wanted electronic submissions of answers. For similarly minded professors they could require that the phone be in "airplane mode" where all wireless circuitry is powered down. There is hope and I expect this trend to continue. I'm sure there were professors in the 1970s who didn't allow calculators.

Also, "Nobody has ever been fired for buying IBM" applies in this field too, and no scientist is going to do any important calculation with some app he downloaded from the market. Same goes for doctors, engineers, etc.

The same could have been said for spreadsheets and accounting software from new firms in the 1980s as personal computers emerged (Apple II, various CP/M machines, etc - pre IBM PC so brand name was not an issue). With familiarity comes acceptances.

That said, I understand this sentiment. I share such concerns to a degree. We have a background in computational chemistry so we take such things a little more seriously than some other developers may.

Re:Dedicated calculators an outdated tech ... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720236)

I just find myself more productive doing work on a nice HP RPN calculator with all the physical buttons. I've tried doing the same thing on a smartphone (and before them on pocket computers), but productivity drops off. It's almost purely visceral. Even the applications that mimic HP calcs just are not as smooth.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715932)

Real calculators are RPN anyway.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (5, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716030)

Calculators real RPN are anyway.

That fixed you for there.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716534)

Not sure if you are merely making fun of RPN calculators or really despise them.

Not sure if TI's can natively do RPN. If not, it's a shame. Once you get used to RPN, algebraic notion is quaint. I find it faster and easier to use.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719718)

Not sure if TI's can natively do RPN. If not, it's a shame. Once you get used to RPN, algebraic notion is quaint. I find it faster and easier to use.

All personal preference really. I perfectly understand RPN, and can use an HP calculator just fine, but I'm much faster on a TI-89. It's not something that's intrinsically better or worse - just different.

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717358)

Genius 1 +

Re:Another monopoly in the making. (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716692)

Now that they're purchasing National Semi, they can offer RPN calculators.

Win?

that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (2)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715474)

is the sound of thousands of laser printers firing up, and spitting out epic number of resumes

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715494)

I would expect a lot of innovation out of this deal. No, not from the stupidly large mega-company, but rather from all the fabless startup companies that will be founded by all the good engineers that TI lays off.

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (3, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716194)

Harder to do that these days when the big companies own all the patents.

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716702)

shut the fuck up you ignorant capitalist. capitalism is the root of all evil in this world. Look at china, its got all its shit together. limits on population, they can make a skyscraper in 100 days while you faggots are still arguing about what should go on ground zero. their economy is growing insanely fast.

It's amazing that you can believe that communism isn't the way forward. keep living in wonderland if your ego is too attached to capitalism and freedom

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716726)

M&A is tough.
Pro: TI has more access to analog distribution, i.e. sales people can sell more products
Pro: TI should have more bargaining power with suppliers (fabs, EDA tools)
Pro: TI should have more bargaining power with buyers
Pro: TI gains a very large presence in the Bay Area
Pro: TI gains 3000 patents
Pro: R&D consolidation; decrease SG&A

Con: Most M&A destroys shareholder value
Con: NS's revenues have been decreasing
Con: Managing Distributor relationships: (Avnet & Arrow account for 32% of total net sales)
Con: Cultures of two companies might be very different

?: NS has large dependence on revenue from wireless handset market
?: NS: Wafer Fabrication Plant in TX
?: NS: Assembly and Test Plant in China

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/70530/000007053010000049/form10k_072010.htm

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716814)

But that would be only one startup. (Those two engineers are dating.)

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715508)

Dude seriously, email it already and let *them* print it out.

Re:that roaring sound you heard in the distance... (1)

WingCmdr (100480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715638)

is the sound of thousands of laser printers firing up, and spitting out epic number of resumes

Not really. National has always been laying off workers periodically. This will just be another cycle of layoffs, as far as National is concerned.

40 virgin payouts, promises made, deliveries??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715490)

unfortunately, most guys would exterminate all of creation for ten minutes with anything with a hole in it. queer training? even the fake surgically revirginated issues are hard to find right now. promises?

Re:40 virgin payouts, promises made, deliveries??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715794)

Have you tried looking in preschools?

pre-schoolers stalked by pedophiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716108)

not usually about real sex religious training exclusively, this increasingly appearing abberation is almost always the result of traumatic infant & adolescent abuse in multiple forms, even when it's clergy members. that's what we see in pre-school. the chosen ones holycost is not accurately measurable here either. babys rule now, so there's still hope. thanks?

Re:pre-schoolers stalked by pedophiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717198)

You post every day on every story. Do you have a link to a website that details your beliefs? Otherwise it just looks like spam. What is this million baby's thing? How about some real info?

Miscellaneous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715514)

The inventor of Floobydust bites the dust. I shall mourn the loss.

BTW, Floobydust: a contemporary term derived from the archaic Latin miscellaneous, whose disputed history probably springs from Greek origins (influenced, of course by Egyptian linguists) - meaning here "a mixed bag." - National Semiconductor Audio Handbook

Email from TI (4, Informative)

320Timberwolves (897302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35715568)

Dear valued customer,

I am excited to let you know that TI has signed a definitive agreement to purchase National Semiconductor, uniting two industry leaders that have a common commitment to solving your analog needs. I want to reinforce TI's commitment to you, our customer, as we merge our two companies.

This acquisition will allow us to address your analog needs with a product portfolio of unmatched breadth and depth. National's 12,000 products plus TI's 30,000 means more performance, power and packaging options when selecting the right ICs for your application. And we'll provide a common set of best-in-class online tools to make the selection and design process easier.

Our combined sales and applications team of 2,500 will be larger than any in the industry so we can provide more customers with greater face-to-face support than ever before.

Our manufacturing operations will offer more capacity to support your growth. TI's fabs and National's available capacity can enable higher production levels.

While both companies will operate independently pending the close, our goal thereafter is to make the integration process as seamless as possible. No requalification of products will be necessary since National's manufacturing sites will continue to be utilized. Part numbers from both companies will remain the same. There will be no obsolescence of products.

I'm excited about what the integration of our two companies will mean for you: an unmatched portfolio to meet your analog needs, an extensive sales and applications network to ease the design process, and manufacturing capacity to support your growth.

You can learn more about the acquisition at www.ti.com/acquire, including answers to frequently asked questions and video messages from TI leaders regarding the acquisition.

Thank you for choosing TI. I look forward to a great future together.

Re:Email from TI (5, Funny)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716288)

damnit, announce when you're posting something serious. I read that whole long thing looking for the joke to start.

Re:Email from TI (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720330)

Really? The whole thing was such typical business-speak I chuckled through the whole thing. :-D Not quite buzzword bingo level, though.

Re:Email from TI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716398)

I'm gutted. I thought my mate Rich Templeton had taken the time to write to me personally. SOB...SNIFF...

As Edwin Meese once said (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715668)

You don't put two turkeys together and get an eagle.

Re:As Edwin Meese once said (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720344)

Challenge accepted. :-\

Not so fun if you work for National Instruments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715818)

I work for National Instruments, a test & measurement / instrumentation company (http://www.ni.com), and people I mention it to already confuse us with Texas Instruments--they ask if we make calculators. It doesn't help that we're also based in Texas (Austin, not Dallas like TI). This is only going to make the confusion worse :(

Re:Not so fun if you work for National Instruments (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716048)

People in the industry know the difference between Nat. Semi., TI and NI. You must be referring to non-techies.

Re:Not so fun if you work for National Instruments (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716494)

...
-- Who keeps Windows in the labs?
-- We do!, we do! ...

(for those who don't know, the abomination known as LabVIEW)

Re:Not so fun if you work for National Instruments (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718182)

There's nothing wrong with Windows in the lab. You don't have to use LabVIEW. You can use any dev system you want, any language you prefer. Write FORTRAN code and compile it with the command line tools if that's what you like.

Re:Not so fun if you work for National Instruments (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720446)

*shudder*

I eventually replaced most of our Labview hardware control software with RealBasic and later C#. I know some overly serious folks don't like those two, but they are *perfect* Labview replacements. You get the same "draw the interface and attach functions" approach but you can write actual code instead of drawing street maps. It did help that National Instruments documents their APIs very well, so rolling up the API declares was a breeze.

Give me a 7400, and I'll conquer the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35715862)

Texas Instrument SN7400 quad NAND gate... I can build anything with 'em

Nifty retro mashup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716192)

Cool, maybe now we can get a 32016 with integrated 34010 graphics coprocessor.

Stability (3, Insightful)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716210)

National Semi, although one of the big players and a significant innovator, has a history of getting into financial trouble. Texas Instruments is a more stable operation and has always given the impression that it was run by more sensible people. If the corporate cultures are compatible, I think this move is for the best.

And hot on their heels... (2, Informative)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716250)

BAE Systems completes purchase [bizjournals.com] of Fairchild Imaging.

Look out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35716334)

Look out Zigbee

What CAN'T that guy do?! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716444)

First TI popularizes auto-tune and now he enters the power management technology industry with an almost seven billion dollar buyout? This guy is AMAZING!

Good. (2)

nsaspook (20301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716572)

National had some the oldest fab equipment in the business. That place had equipment even China didn't want.

But you know what they say.
http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2005/09/real_men_have_f.php [siliconvalleywatcher.com]

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

jimmyswimmy (749153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717084)

Well, at least when I got out of the semi business a few years ago you could still do a lot with old 5" and 6" wafers. There's a lot to be said for having your own process line, despite the fabless trend, especially in the analog world. An in-house analog process enables a semi manufacturer to build unique parts that a competitor can't as easily replicate. If you can get a higher voltage or current in a similar sized driver IC you can outsell on features, or you can shrink the die and match features and outsell on price. But if you're both buying the same process from the foundry, what advantage do you have that the competition can't get by offering your engineers more money?

Re:Good. (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718808)

TI is currently ramping their 300mm analog fab. Some analysists dubbed it "death star fab" - guess why...

Re:Good. (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720822)

There's also a lot to be said for having a captive fab when the DoD comes knocking and says "we want a part that *we* can guarantee doesn't have any backdoors in the silicon". NatSemi has a prototyping fab and a secure fab in Santa Clara, and the secure fab -- I'm told, insofar as I've never seen the inside as I don't have the clearance required -- will build you a part with your engineers as involved as you want, from design, through fab, to test and packaging. That's worth a lot to a bunch of customers, apparently.

less choice is less better (0)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716668)

the point of these acquisitions is to give customers less choice and make them pay more for the same.

this is not a good trend.

and it's getting worse because the feckless govt never met a deal it didn't like no matter who it would be hurt by it.

oh, and TI LOVES to outsource engineering. but hey, engineers just need to work smarter !

"All cash"? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716740)

it has agreed to acquire semiconductor company National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in an all-cash transaction.

TI has $6.5 billion in cash lying around and we're wondering why our economy is in the shitter and where all the jobs are?

Corporate tax laws should be changed so they're taxed for wealth as well as income. Maybe they could put that money to work for something besides buying out the competition.

Re:"All cash"? (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716860)

Corporate tax laws should be changed so they're taxed for wealth as well as income.

Because it would be better if they paid all the rich owners a dividend?

Ask the bank who is holding their $6.5 billion why they won't loan you any of that money, and the answers to THAT are why our economy is in the shitter.

Re:"All cash"? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716998)

TI has $6.5 billion in cash lying around and we're wondering why our economy is in the shitter and where all the jobs are?

The intelligent among us realize there is little to no connection between the two. Everybody with any intelligence keeps at least some cash around regardless of economic conditions.
 

Corporate tax laws should be changed so they're taxed for wealth as well as income. Maybe they could put that money to work for something besides buying out the competition.

Yeah. Tax success and prudence and give business even less reason to grow and to keep cash and capital on hand for future use. That's a good plan.
 
Not to mention that 'all cash' only means that TI paid the owners of NS cash, not that TI had it all laying around. There's bonds, lines-of-credit, etc... etc...

Re:"All cash"? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719448)

Everybody with any intelligence keeps at least some cash around regardless of economic conditions.

$6.5 billion is not "some cash". It's a war chest. And the war is against us.

My biggest concern isn't even with the 'cash' it's with the anti-competitive, anti-free market behavior of buying your competition.

Re:"All cash"? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718652)

Yes

And they have it all in coins, to make matters worse

It's all in a huge vault, with a big $ painted on the side.

Ask for a Mr. Scrooge

Re:"All cash"? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718726)

Why would they have that amount of cash lying around? Do you think there is this magic cash register somewhere with over 300 million 20 dollar bills? Most of the time, when I see transactions like these, the bought company picks up the tab by lending the maximum amount of money from the bank. Of course, the big cheeses get a lot of dough from the transaction. The ones that are actually in power, are now leading a bigger company, and get a higher salary.

How do dat works now? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720468)

So... the government takes a chunk of their assets and that encourages TI to hire more people... how exactly?

Still shocked! (1)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35716900)

Am I the only one still shocked that analog is pulling in this kind of cash?

Re:Still shocked! (4, Insightful)

jimmyswimmy (749153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717056)

You shouldn't be. You can't do digital without analog, despite what every pointy-headed manager puts in his powerpoint slides. Power is analog and that's a sizeable fraction of your computer budget. Motor control (hard drives), sensors (you name it), a lot of user interface, are all analog. Even signal transmission is analog, although if you set your thresholds just right you can pretend it's digital. In fact this is where a lot of semi companies make their money, by encapsulating the messy analog into the chip so all you have to do is put down two capacitors and hook up the digital interface, because people are escared of analog.

Can you tell I'm an analog guy? I sure hope so.

Re:Still shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717446)

No, but I can tell that you are an EEng.

The CompSci and other SW guys are afraid of the analog. The rest of the world understands that a bit is just another abstraction.

Re:Still shocked! (1)

WingCmdr (100480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717936)

Can you tell I'm an analog guy? I sure hope so.

Yes, I can see that. What I don't understand is what you're doing on slashdot. This place is generally for comp sci types. Even though I'm an EE, I'm more on the digital side of things, with lots of software thrown in for good measure.

Re:Still shocked! (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718692)

Also, ADCs and DACs. As far as I remember National, Analog Devices and Philips had most ADCs (I mean, the good ones)

Too bad most of them are stuck in a package today

Can you tell I'm an analog guy?

More or less, but yeah. Analog is cool, but it's difficult. Give me the digital part any day of the week.

(Depends really, one thing is creating an amplifier from scratch/transistors, other is using Opamps, still, you have to play with it sooner or later)

Re:Still shocked! (1)

greed (112493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720532)

Good digital circuits--the guts on the IC anyway--aren't easy, either. It's one thing to build a flip-flop, say, from basic logic gates and just paste in the relevant FETs. It's another to go back to first principles and build a bistable multivibrator taking advantage of the unique properties of the FETs you're using and the features you want the flip-flop to have.

In the data sheets, those equivalent logic circuits are often simply operationally equivalent; they don't represent the actual integrated circuit. (Better data sheets show you that, too. Though most of mine are old enough that 74LS is still a pretty neat idea.... I've moved on to 74HC.)

Re:Still shocked! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720630)

Analog is cool, but it's difficult. Give me the digital part any day of the week.

Ha. I went from RF/microwave to fully digital. The former had become boring, buying pre-rolled amps and mixers and couplers and whatnot and putting them together on a board. Creating a gain profile was a highlight of the day. FPGAs are much more fun. My RF background did make things easier when I started doing digital above 1 GHz clock rates. I had an intuitive feel for VSWR and the need for terminations. Now they have digitally controlled terminations right on the FPGAs- bless you Xilinx.

Re:Still shocked! (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717668)

Analog is *enormously* important. It's just not trendy. The world is analog, and for one digital systems will need an interface to the analog world.

Re:Still shocked! (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717680)

Analog is getting bigger and bigger. Many applications are driven by "green" technology - power devices for electric cars, control circuits and switching converters for power conversion, LED controllers and so on. The automotive semiconductor industry is very delighted with the current development. The last figures I heard were that 20-30% of the costs of a european mid range car are electronics, with a sharp upwards trend. American cars and cars for the american market are usually based on slightly simpler and older technology.

Another thing is that the market entry barriers for analog devices are higher than for digital ones. Analog devices can often not be designed as versatile as digital ones. That is why you need a very wide product range and a good customer relationship. Furthermore, you simply can not hire good analog designers out of school. All of these things combined means that there is a lof of cash in analog.

Re:Still shocked! (1)

WingCmdr (100480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717944)

The last figures I heard were that 20-30% of the costs of a european mid range car are electronics, with a sharp upwards trend. American cars and cars for the american market are usually based on slightly simpler and older technology.

The current figures are the electronics in a car account for over 50% of the costs.

Re:Still shocked! (3, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717938)

There's very little that is truly done digitally. Even switch mode powersupplies, switch means digital right? As in turning on and off right?, no these are analogue components with oscillators and complex feedback loops. Not to mention precision electronics often based on linear regulators with highly accurate temperature controlled references. Then there's power conversion and line matching too. The output of your serial port may be digital to you, but to me it's a charge pump converting digital logic levels to +/-15V. Data conversion, sensors, and even digitally sounding and looking things like hall effect sensors in fans which produce a pulse when the fan turns actually have a large analogue component.

Without analogue our digital wouldn't work. Analogue circuitry does everything from providing power, to providing time references for digital pulses.

Re:Still shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35719460)

Only the uneducated and stupid.

Horatio Says : (4, Funny)

Rollgunner (630808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717018)

Looks like the folks at National Semiconductor... (puts on sunglasses)... cashed in their chips.

YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHHH !

Bad news for quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717240)

In my experience National quality has always been good and TI quality has always been shakey, Does this mean National quality will tank?

Re:Bad news for quality? (1)

WingCmdr (100480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717958)

What??? Are you serious? It's the other way around. National makes the cheapest, crappiest, volume parts around. They have some high end parts, but nothing that compares with the high precision parts from other semiconductor companies. Especially compare National to Linear or Analog Devices for quality.

Re:Bad news for quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718152)

Depends on price. TI's more expensive parts are fine and I use a lot of them but the jellybean parts are always a problem. I used to use a lot of TL061/2s cus their power/speed ratio is very good. Quality got so bad I could only use them from NJR and other second sources. Getting bad parts of any sort from National almost never happens.

"All cash?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717288)

Even in $100 bills, that's a whole lot of fucktons of paper.

chip companies are dying out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717820)

I don't see this merger as a good sign and reaffirms my negative long-term outlook on our industry at the moment
It's a continuation of a trend that's been going on for close to a decade now.
There are so many new companies are doing mobile apps and social networking but very few new chip start ups,
  such that silicon valley's looking like software valley these days.

The few that do start up die out pretty fast. It's simply too costly to make chips any more. Only the big players are able to stay around,
and even they are consolidating. In my opinion, there are no up and coming semiconductor company that's worth talking about at the moment.

Is it just because I'm out of touch with what's out there?

$6.5 billion in an all-cash transaction (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718138)

That's going to be a hell of a lot of suitcases.

What other chip maker? (1)

tulcod (1056476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718598)

The danger here is that there aren't too many other chip makers. TI and National Semiconductor are definitely the biggest, and I can see TI building up a bit of a monopoly in some areas quickly, or at least increasing the profit margin. Perhaps we'll see some unknown chip maker rise in a few years to even the markt.

all-cash transaction (1)

Mirey (1324435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718844)

That's a lot of suitcases.

Downhill since Robert Pease retired (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719102)

National has gone downhill since Robert Pease retired. If you don't know who Pease is, then you probably don't know much about analog electronics. Thats all I'm saying.

the circle of life (1)

nathanbeach (1056196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720274)

TI engineers leave to form Cyrix -> National Semiconductor acquires Cyrix -> Texas Instruments acquires National Semiconductor.

(note: Cyrix's empty husk was actually sold off by National circa 1998)

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