RISC at the core

STMicroelectronics and Hitachi have signed an agreement to establish an independent company, named SuperH, which will develop and license RISC microprocessor cores.

STMicroelectronics and Hitachi have signed an agreement to establish an independent company, named SuperH, which will develop and license RISC microprocessor cores of the SuperH microprocessor family.

The new company will license all SuperH processor cores to the open market, making it possible for customers to create system-on-chip (SOC) embedded microprocessor (MPU) designs. SuperH will also complete the final development of a 64-bit SH processor and take over the development of future core products.

SuperH will have its headquarters in San Jose, California, with operations in Bristol, UK and Tokyo, Japan, creating a global R&D network and customer support structure. The Chief Executive Officer of the new company will be Toshimasa Kihara, formerly General Manager of Microcomputer & ASIC Product Operation at Hitachi, and the Chief Operating Officer will be Jean-Marie Rolland, currently R&D Director for MicroCore Development at STMicroelectronics. Initially, around 100 people will be employed by SuperH, the majority of whom will transfer from Hitachi and STMicroelectronics.

Both STMicroelectronics and Hitachi are contributing the necessary intellectual property rights, human resources and financial assets that SuperH needs to start its operations. Initially, the new company will be jointly owned by Hitachi and STMicroelectronics and managed as an independent entity. The Board of Directors of the new company will comprise four members from Hitachi and four members from STMicroelectronics. A strategic round of investment is planned following incorporation.

The contemplated transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals. STMicroelectronics and Hitachi expect the transaction to close within the quarter.