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NXP mulls alternatives for digital TV biz

Posted: 28 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital TV? STB? consumer electronics?

NXP BV is looking to make a strategic change its digital consumer business as part of efforts to focus on high-performance mixed-signal circuits, according to CEO Rick Clemmer.

Speaking to EE Times after posting financial results for Q2 09, Clemmer said, "We are going to look for a different capital structure."

Under previous CEO Frans van Houten, NXP spent money to bulk up in digital TV and STB market. NXP announced plans to acquire Conexant Systems' STB business in April 2008 arguing that the deal put the company in a position to compete with Broadcom and STMicroelectronics. Fifteen months later and new CEO Clemmer said: "The TV companies are not making money."

Clemmer ruled out a sell-off of NXP's digital consumer business but said a joint venture in which NXP does not have the majority share was a possibility. "Our 45nm digital TV chip is very exciting part but we're looking for a different capital structure. We might be in venture with a partner where we are not a majority owner. The area is of strategic value and we want to participate in making money from it."

The digitization of consumer electronics, particular of TV, has been a fundamental part of the history of both NXP and its predecessor Philips Semiconductors. As Philips formed NXP at the same time that it started to pull out of consumer electronics and transform itself into a medical and lifestyle company.

Clemmer said he was reluctant to say more about the future of digital consumer within NXP at this time so as not to compromise negotiations.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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