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Telefunken sees late year bright spot with foundry development

By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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Telefunken Semiconductors may have suffered a difficult year, but the closing months of 2012 are offering new financial opportunities for the firm, which has a major facility in Roseville.

The closure of a contract microchip plant in San Jose is sending a number of customers knocking on Telefunken’s door.

In the wake of SVTC Technology Corp. ending its run as the lone contract microchip fabricator in the Silicon Valley, Telefunken now finds itself the only specialized business in California with the right equipment, clean rooms and engineers to take on SVTC Tech’s customers. Some of those companies have already contacted Telefunken with plans to move forward.

“After extensive internal effort and with the support of key customers, Telefunken is excited by this chance to play a key role in the Silicon Valley ecosystem and help to enable our customers’ innovation here and throughout the U.S.,” Telefunken CEO Roger Lee said in a statement. “Our customers have given us a clear message, that flexibility, time to market, deep experience, and proximity to Silicon Valley give us a special opportunity to help them succeed.”

Lee added that Telefunken’s new developments may bring “long-term stability” to its respective market.

The new contract microchip foundry will be a stand-alone division of Telefunken. The extra business marks a bright spot in an otherwise tumultuous year for the company, which fired CEO Subbarao Pinamaneni and president Raj Johal for reportedly making $23 million dollars disappear through fraud and misappropriations. The company is also suing both former executives in an effort to recoup losses.

In September, Telefunken acknowledged it was laying off 85 employees due to volatile market demands and the financial damage done by the former CEO and president.

“This company is fighting for its life right now,” a Telefunken attorney told the Press Tribune at the time.