Interesting interview of Texas Instruments' CEO Richard Templeton over at Business Week. He outlines the niche his company has carved out in the chipmaker world, and points to some of the big opportunities out there for chip innovators.
While its supply contracts with mobile-phone manufacturers including Nokia and Motorola grab all the headlines, the bulk of Texas Instruments' business comes from chips that are nowhere near as attention-getting. Accounting for about 40% of the company's sales in 2006 are its so-called analog chips. Analog chips measure "real world" inputs—from the temperature in a room or the sound of a voice to the touch of a button—so they can be converted into a digital signal that a computer or other device can understand. Texas Instruments is easily the world's biggest supplier of these analog chips.
The problem as he sees it is a lack of vision and resources in research and development. Analog chips in gadgets: the unsexy moneymaker.