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Formed in 1953 as part of the electrical and electronics firm Philips, NXP Semiconductors N.V. is a Dutch semiconductor manufacturer with headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands that focuses in the automotive industry. NXP was the fifth-largest non-memory semiconductor supplier in 2016, and the leading semiconductor supplier for the secure identification, automotive and digital networking industries. NXP Semiconductors provides mixed signal and standard products based on its security, identification, automotive, networking, radio frequency, analog signal, and power management expertise.

 

On December 7, 2015, NXP completed its acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor and the merged company continued operations as NXP Semiconductors N.V. 

 

On 27 October 2016, it was announced that Qualcomm would try to buy NXP, but because the Chinese merger authority did not approve the acquisition before the deadline set by Qualcomm, it was effectively cancelled on 26 July 2018. 

 

With an emphasis on security of the connected vehicle and the Internet of things, NXP's products are used in automotive, identification, wired and wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, consumer, mobile and computing applications. For example, in order to protect against potential hackers, NXP offers gateways to automotive manufacturers that prevent communication with every network within a car independently.

 

NXP is the co-inventor of near field communication (NFC) technology along with Sony and Inside Secure and supplies NFC chip sets that enable mobile phones to be used to pay for goods, and store and exchange data securely. NXP manufactures chips for eGovernment applications such as electronic passports; RFID tags and labels; and transport and access management, with the chip set and contactless card for MIFARE used by many major public transit systems worldwide.

 

In addition, NXP manufactures automotive chips for in-vehicle networking, passive keyless entry and immobilization, and car radios. NXP invented the I²C interface over 30 years ago and has since supplied products using it. Before the divestiture of Nexperia, NXP was also a volume supplier of standard logic devices, and celebrated its 50 years in logic (via its history as both Signetics and Philips Semiconductors) in March 2012.

 

Acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor

In March 2015, a merger agreement was announced through which NXP would acquire rival Freescale Semiconductor. The RF Power Division was sold to JAC Capital for $1.8 billion and was rebranded as Ampleon, in a transaction closed in November 2015. On December 7, 2015, NXP completed its acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor and the merged company continued operations as NXP Semiconductors N.V. 

 

Both elements have deep roots stretching back to when they were part of Philips NV (in the case of NXP), and Motorola (Freescale). Each had comparable revenue figures; US$4.8B and US$4.2B for NXP and Freescale respectively in 2013. NXP primarily focuses on near field communication (NFC) and high-performance mixed signal (HPMS) hardware. Freescale focuses on its microprocessor and microcontroller. Both companies possess roughly equal patent portfolios. 

 

Certainly, each company brings core strengths to the combined organization, NFC from NXP and microcontrollers from Freescale. Also, both companies have been actively involved in litigation over the years as both plaintiff and defendant, so a larger and, more importantly, a more geographically diverse patent portfolio could likely prove useful in such matters. Chipworks' analysts suggest the newly merged company will divest itself of many properties as the merger progresses. 

 

Some analysts believe cost savings after the two companies merge are expected to be about $500M dollars. Customers are ultimately divided over the consolidation of their product families and how it may affect their own development and end-products. 

 

Controversies 

 

In March 2013, NXP locked out workers at its plant in Bangkok, Thailand. The reason was stalled negotiations over a new work schedule with their trade union, which was affiliated with the Confederation of Thai Electrical Appliances, Electronic Automobile & Metalworkers (TEAM). Management then called in small groups of workers, asked them if they agreed with the union's demands, and told them to leave if they did. They were not able to enter the factory the next day. In response, TEAM staged protests outside the factory and on March 13 outside the Dutch embassy and also filed a complaint with the National Human Right Commission. On April 29, mediation by the Ministry of Labour led to the signing of a memorandum that passed the decision over the work schedule to the Labour Relations Committee. The committee decided on June 20 that the new work schedule did not violate Thai labour law; however, the National Human Rights Committee decided otherwise and recommended the factory should revert to the old schedule. NXP continues to demand regular 12-hour shifts.

 

In May 2014, the company fired 24 workers at its plant in the special economic zone in Cabuyao, The Philippines. The workers were all officials of a trade union affiliated with the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP). Reports said they were fired due to their union functions in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Factory owners claimed the workers were fired after refusing to work on April 9, while workers said they had not been paid for two months. IndustriALL and its affiliated unions in the Philippines condemned the dismissals. In September, MWAP and NXP reached an agreement by which 12 of the fired workers were reinstated and the other 12 received separation packages. NXP also committed itself to a long-term wage increase. In the summer of 2015, a member of the Dutch parliament questioned trade minister Lilianne Ploumen regarding NXP's behaviour.

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