Sophia: the microelectronic sector keeps on recruiting

Posté mer 21/11/2001 - 00:00
Par admin

If big groups have stopped recruiting, start-ups and medium-sized companies such as Stepmind, Europe Technologies, Tachys, Cadence, Centillium keep opened recruitment plans.

Indeed, nobody will deny that the change of the economic situation in the microelectronic sector was fast and spectacular. However, SAME, the forum on Microelectronics at Sophia Antipolis, which had taken place at the end of last week at the CICA of Sophia has beaten records: 750 contributors, about forty exhibitors for this event organised by the CCI and the Club High Tech. Even if the slowdown is still visible through recruitment policies, the sector doesn't give up and is far to do so.Companies which keep on recruitingBig groups don't lay off but don't recruit anymore, mentioned Jacques-Olivier Piednoir, manager at Cadence and project manager at SAME within the Club High Tech. However, medium-sized companies keep on recruiting. You just needed to have a look at the stands and you would have been convinced. If there wasn't many big groups as exhibitors this year, however, "start-ups" and medium-sized companies came into force. Some of them had opened recruitment plans, even if it had nothing to do with the same volumes that big groups offered last year. Stepmind, Tachys, Centillium, Europe Technologies, Esterel technologies, ARM (formerly EuroMIPS) and others keep on recruiting.For example, Stepmind owned by André Jolivet, a "start-up" focusing on the markets of wireless local networks from GPRS/EDGE and HiperLAN2 technologies (André Jolivet should impress in the keynote, postponing the release of the UMTS in 2005-2006 and totally beating on the second generation GSM). There were 19 employees at Stepmind, at the Cannet in 2000 and there are now 43 at the end of 2001. Cadence (design tools of chips) faced the same development. It keeps about ten opened jobs and has recruited more in 2001 than in 2000. Currently reaching 55 employees, Cadence, which is moving in bigger premises near the place Bermond, should reach 65 employees at the end of the year and expects to have 90 up to 95 employees in two years time.Sophia's chanceWhat is the chance of Sophia compared to other production sites such as the ones of the Rousset or Gemenos near Marseille? Sophia is a Research and Development centre. "The current economic slowdown doesn't necessarily imply a technologic slowdown, says Jacques Olivier Piednoir. The change of a mastering from 0.18 to 0.13 microns requires new circuits and new CAO software. Sophia is focused on this market of circuits and software design. When groups cut spending, they try not to affect these sectors since it would mean to be off tomorrow's products. These sectors will ensure the recovery in an industry that is well known for always being cyclic.

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