Interview: Cypress will grow in focus markets

March 07, 2019 // By Peter Clarke
Interview: Cypress will grow in focus markets
Hassane El-Khoury has been CEO of Cypress Semiconductor for just over two years having taken over from company founder T J Rodgers in 2016. Prior to his appointment El-Khoury had spent nine years with Cypress rising to be the head of its automotive business. eeNews Europe caught up with El-Khoury at Embedded World in Nuremberg.

Cypress is an interesting chip company because at $2.5 billion annual revenues, while not a giant of the semiconductor industry it still offers a broad range of products. It started back in 1982 as a vendor of memories and programmable logic, which it still offers in the form of programmable SoCs (PSoCs). By a series of acquisitions and incubations the company has moved into MCUs, wireless, PMICs, touch sensors, timing solutions, and interface ICs including USB.

It offers many products but often quite application sector specific so we started by asking El-Khoury if Cypress is too broad – or not broad enough.

"Cypress has the balance that I want it to have. The types of products and market sectors are in balance," El-Khoury shot back. "For automotive: MCU, memories, PMICs, SoCs. We have every one of those. For the world of IoT there needed to be the RF next to it, which is why we bought Broadcom's IoT business. We are one-third automotive, one-third consumer, 17 percent industrial and 17 percent extra pieces."

The reference to consumer is also interesting because the volatility of that market and the recent saturation of the smartphone market has had many companies rushing to move their capabilities into steady markets such as automotive and industrial.

"There is a difference between exposure to consumer and exposure to one or two companies," said El-Khoury. "Cypress is not in that boat. We do not have one 10 percent customer and we have walked away from orders worth $150 million over two years. What we have is 'sticky' high-value consumer customers like Netgear and Amazon."

With a history of acquisition it would be interesting to know what will come next.

Next: You could argue....

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