Freescale’s CEO Rich Beyer (formerly CEO at Intersil) gave the opening address at FTF this year. Since he has only been with the company for 3 months it was interesting to see how well he handled himself and the promotion of Freescale. Luckily for him, he did fine.
The most curious part of his presentation was his comments about developing a lot more infrastructure around their parts and particularly their “development environments”. This probably shot a chill up the spine of a lot of vendors. Is Freescale moving up to take over what their design partners are currently providing? Maybe or maybe not… The Freescalers I talked to indicate that this is being driven by their customers. Customers don’t want to deal with the learning curve of having to integrate and trouble shot new protocols and technology platforms. They want to buy parts with everything integrated. Freescale is simply responding to the needs of their customers.
On the new PowerQuicc platform for example, they recruited RTA to port our Ethernet/IP and DeviceNet code early in the process so they could advertise it as Linux DevicNet and Linux EtherNet/IP capable. How this all works out we’ll have to see. It won’t surprise me if they have a grand design to be more than a chip company and want to get some of the margin from the collateral provided by their partners.