[San Jose, California / Tokyo / London] April 3, 2001 -STMicroelectronics
(NYSE: STM) and Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) today announced that they
have signed an agreement to establish an independent company, named
SuperH, Inc., which will develop and license RISC microprocessor cores
of the SuperHTM family. The new
company will license the SH-4 core and all subsequent SuperH cores
to the open market, making it easier for customers worldwide to create
powerful, cost-effective system-on-chip (SOC) embedded microprocessor
(MPU) designs. SuperH, Inc. will also complete final development of
the 64-bit SH-5 processor and take over the development of the future
SH-6 and SH-7 cores.
Hitachi and STMicroelectronics, both of which are world top-ten semiconductor
companies that manufacture and market a broad portfolio of devices,
believe that an independently managed entity concentrating on developing
and licensing the SuperH family of processor cores will provide significant
benefits for systems manufacturers and semiconductor firms. As the
new company will be staffed by a highly focused and experienced R&D
team and backed by a fully dedicated support organization, SuperH,
Inc. will have the resources needed to deliver the high levels of
expertise, performance and responsiveness that sophisticated customers
The success of SuperH, Inc. will enlarge the already extensive user
base for the SuperH architecture and make it an even more compelling
embedded system design choice, particularly for microprocessor-based
application-specific products. The potential gains are significant:
according to market research firm Gartner Dataquest, the worldwide
market for such MPU-based application-specific products should increase
by 33% this year and reach 1.4 billion units within four years.
The SuperH family of high-performance 32-bit and 64-bit processor
cores is ideally suited for digital consumer, automotive and telecommunications
applications. These applications typically require a highly integrated
system-on-chip solution that includes a powerful embedded processing
engine and can run a wide variety of application software on industry-standard
operating systems and middleware.
SuperH, Inc. will have its headquarters in San Jose, California, with
operations in Bristol, U.K. and Tokyo, Japan, creating a global R&D
network and customer support structure. The Chief Executive Officer
of the new company will be Toshimasa Kihara, formerly General Manager
of Microcomputer & ASIC Product Operation at Hitachi, and the Chief
Operating Officer will be Jean-Marie Rolland, currently R&D Director
for MicroCore Development at STMicroelectronics. Initially, around
100 people will be employed by SuperH, Inc., the majority of whom
will transfer from Hitachi and STMicroelectronics.
Etsuhiko Shoyama, President and Director of Hitachi, Ltd., said: The
new company will have the necessary mandate, resources and focus to
take the SuperH family of processor cores to the open market. It will
make the SuperH architecture the de facto standard in digital consumer,
automotive and telecommunications. By leveraging the outstanding combination
of price, performance and power that SuperH CPUs offer, from the SH-4
series upwards, SuperH, Inc. will make the cores compelling choices
for leading-edge customers contemplating advanced system-on-chip designs.
Pasquale Pistorio, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics, said:
The establishment of this new company is the culmination of
the excellent relationship that STMicroelectronics has enjoyed with
Hitachi over the past few years to develop leading-edge microprocessor
cores for system-on-chip applications. The SuperH architecture already
enjoys a significant market presence, especially in the digital consumer
and automotive segments. SuperH, Inc. will build on this strength
and really play a leading role in the fast growing embedded RISC processor
Both STMicroelectronics and Hitachi are contributing the necessary
intellectual property rights, human resources and financial assets
that SuperH, Inc. needs to start its operations. Initially, the new
company will be jointly owned by Hitachi and STMicroelectronics and
managed as an independent entity. The Board of Directors of the new
company will comprise four members from Hitachi and four members from
STMicroelectronics. A strategic round of investment is planned following
Hitachi and STMicroelectronics have been promoting the SuperH architecture
together and jointly developing the SH-5 core in a close relationship
since 1998. In October 2000, the companies also announced plans to
jointly develop the SH-6 and SH-7 cores.
The contemplated transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals.
STMicroelectronics and Hitachi expect the transaction to close within
About the SuperH architecture
SuperH is a RISC microprocessor technology based on an original Hitachi
architecture. To date, six cores have been released: the SH-1, SH-2,
SH-3, SH2-DSP, SH3-DSP and SH-4. SuperH processors are used in many
fields of industry, including information systems and digital consumer
products. Applications include digital set-top boxes, portable information
appliances, car navigation systems, factory automation systems and
digital cameras. Further information about SuperH products can be
found on http://www.SuperH.com.
About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's
leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1999 (ended March
31, 2000) consolidated sales of 8,001 billion yen ($75.5 billion*).
The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including
computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial
equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's
web site at http://global.hitachi.com/
Hitachi's semiconductor business web site/home page address: http://global.hitachi.com/Sicd/index.htm
*At an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.
STMicroelectronics (formerly SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics) is a global
independent semiconductor company, whose shares are traded on the
New York Stock Exchange, on the ParisBourse and on the Milan Stock
Exchange. The Company designs, develops, manufactures and markets
a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) and discrete
devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including
telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive
products and industrial automation and control systems. In 2000, the
Company's net revenues were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were
$1,452.1 million. According to Dataquest's annual ranking for 2000,
STMicroelectronics is the sixth largest semiconductor company in the
world. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
SuperH is a trademark of Hitachi, Ltd.