3 minute read

The chips and microprocessors that power not only personal computers but also an increasingly broad array of consumer electronic devices, everything from third-generation cellular phones to MP3 music players and personal digital assistants.

ARM Holdings
Public company based in Cambridge, England
CEO: Robin Saxby
What it does: Licenses its high-performance RISC microprocessors and system-on-chip designs for applications in consumer goods as well as encryption and industrial technology
Why it is hot: The firm controls an estimated 80% of the global market for chips for mobile handsets | last year’s Top 50

Cambridge Silicon Radio
Private Company based in Cambridge, England
CEO: John Hodgson
What it does: The company has developed an eagerly-awaited Bluetooth interface, housing a radio transmitter, baseband digital signal processing and microcontroller on a single chip
Why it is hot: Demand is expected to skyrocket in the next few years as manufacturers integrate Bluetooth chips into everything from laptops and mobile phones to cameras and cars. Analysts are predicting that about 2 billion Bluetooth devices will be shipped by 2005, creating a market worth up to $10 billion

Infineon Technologies
Public company based in Munich, Germany
CEO: Ulrich Schmacher
What it does: Spun off from Siemens in 1999, Infineon makes memory products and semiconductor solutions
Why it is hot: It is reporting strong margins in wireline communications, security and chip- card integrated circuits and in its automative and industrial business groups | last year’s Top 50

Parthus Technologies
Private company based in Dublin, Ireland
CEO: Brian Long
What it does: Makes a chip designed to power a broad range of mobile Internet devices as well as global positioning satellite and Bluetooth, a technology that allows devices to communicate within a 10-m radius
Why it is hot: Licensing and royalty revenues are rising because the benefits of licensing IP platforms, including lower costs and faster time to market, are more compelling in an increasingly competitive market

Public company based in Geneva, Switzerland
CEO: Pasquale Pistorio
What it does: Designs and develops semiconductors used in computer and telecommunications systems and consumer and automotive products
Why it is hot: The company is now the world’s sixth-largest semiconductor company, up from ninth in 1999. It posted year-over-year double-digit growth in revenues and net earnings in the first quarter | last year’s Top 50

Private company based in Dresden, Germany
CEO: Ruediger Stroh
What it does: Developer of a broadband wireless chip that aims to understand all major standards, allowing seamless roaming with any broadband wireless device between any network on any continent
Why it is hot: Its technology can be applied across many areas of the wireless semiconductor market, estimated to be worth $18 billion by 2004

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