What’s in a name?

1 min read

Another electronics company name which invokes a deal of history is set to disappear as Renesas says Intersil will be known as Renesas Electronics America from the beginning of 2018.

Let’s look at the last couple of years. Avago bought Broadcom, Intel bought Altera, Analog Devices bought Linear Technology, Cirrus Logic bought Wolfson Microelectronics.

Hewlett-Packard spun out its test and measurement business to become Agilent, which then split itself in two, creating Keysight.

A bit further back, the Fairchild name came, went when it was acquired by National Semiconductor, came back again when it was spun out and then finally disappeared when it was acquired by On Semiconductor. Meanwhile, the National Semiconductor name disappeared when it was acquired by Texas Instruments.

Motorola Semiconductor became Freescale, which was acquired by NXP. NXP was Philips Electronics. Now, Qualcomm is in the final stages of acquiring NXP.

The Plessey name disappeared when it was bought by Zarlink, but has reappeared recently as a manufacturer of LEDs.

You can see the same in the UK car industry. Apart from Austin and Morris, who remembers Wolseley, Hillman, Riley, Standard, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam and so on?

Does it matter? Not in the great scheme of things, but electronics company names such as Linear Technology or Fairchild, as well as car marques, tell us where today’s technology originated. You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going, as they say. And nowadays, it’s getting harder to know where you’ve been.