Cypress sells image sensor unit

March 1, 2007 – Continuing a restructuring that has already seen a pullback from leading-edge chip development, Cypress Semiconductors says it has agreed to sell its automotive image sensor subsidiary to Sensata Technologies Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The 25-person SMaL Camera Technologies Inc. operation, acquired two years ago to supplement Cypress’ image sensor group, provides cameras and camera subsystems to automotive driver assistance systems, for customers including Bosch and Delphi. The company is divesting it now “based on a strategic shift to focus resources onto our custom image sensor business,” which it will continue to maintain out of Belgium, stated Cliff Drowley, VP of Cypress’s image sensor group.

In recent weeks Cypress has undergone transformation, first by stating its intention to sell its ownership in the Silicon Valley Technology Center to private equity investors, citing that its products no longer rely heavily upon leading-edge process technology such as the 65nm R&D center operates.

Days ago, Cypress also announced it will begin using Taiwan foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) to produce its next-generation flagship SRAM products, with 65nm tapeouts expected later this year. The company also will utilize UMC for its S8 0.13-micron embedded flash technology as well as two future generations of embedded flash technology to produce devices including PSoC programmable mixed-signal arrays and USB devices.

Sensata is also no stranger to reorganization and M&A activity — the former sensors & controls unit of Texas Instruments was acquired by private investment firm Bain Capital LLC in early 2006.


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