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14th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits and Systems 

December 11-14, 2007  - Marrakech, Morocco 

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ST Microelectronics

STMicroelectronics Inaugurates Extension to Rabat Design Center

Rabat, June 7, 2006 …. STMicroelectronics, one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, has announced that the new extension to its Design Center in Rabat, Morocco, was today officially inaugurated by His Majesty King of Morocco Mohammed VI.

The Rabat Design Center, which was the first of its kind in Morocco, and is still a unique example, started operation in September 2001 with ten designers and was located within the Mohammadia School of Engineers (EMI) in Rabat, one of the longest established and best known engineering institutions in Morocco. ST chose Rabat for the location of its new Design Center for several reasons, including the long and successful presence its has enjoyed in the country, where it has a major industrial hub in the Casablanca area, the proximity to Europe, and the excellent educational infrastructure of Morocco that produces graduate engineers of high quality.

From the start, the Rabat Design Center made rapid progress and in September 2003 ST decided to build a new and larger center on a 2.7-acre site at Madinat Al Irfane (Rabat). By this time, the Rabat Design Center employed some 40 engineers, mainly working for ST’s HPC (Home, Personal and Communications) group on analog and digital designs such as frequency synthesizers and audio converters for integration into System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions for TV and Set Top Box applications, some of the most complex and important areas of the semiconductor industry.

In October 2004, the success of the Rabat Design Center was further recognized when ST decided to add important activities in the field of imaging, again another pillar in the company strategy for growth. Ten Moroccan engineers were initially sent to Grenoble and Edinburgh, ST’s main centres of excellence in imaging, and the Rabat imaging team now designs sensors for applications such as PC Peripherals (Webcam and optical mice), video and wireless phones, Digital Consumer products such as PDAs and digital cameras, and smart card biometric sensors. In September 2005, another activity was created in Rabat supporting ST’s innovative Nomadik multimedia application processor. Even more recently, in May 2006, a new team was added, with 30 engineers designing state-of-the-art chips for 3G wireless base stations.

“We continue to be impressed by the technical ability, the enthusiasm and the creativity of young Moroccan engineers and proud that ST offers them a rewarding career opportunity where they contribute to the development of exciting products that are at the leading edge of Digital Convergence”, said Philippe Geyres, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of STMicroelectronics’ HPC group. “Their contribution confirms the importance of our foresight in selecting Rabat as the location for a Design Center and is reflected in the rapid growth of the Center.”

ST has cumulatively invested some $16m in its Rabat Design Center, which today is home to around 170 people, approximately 140 of whom are engaged in IC design activities and 20 focused on software support. The 16000 meters2 building contains 7000 meters2 of office, 300 meters2 of laboratory, a 250 meter2 computer room, a lecture theatre, and a restaurant, as well as parking facilities. In addition to its IP design activities, the Center also hosts an application lab set up by ST’s European customer support unit where a team of software support engineers develop and support application software - which can be integrated into a complete platform - for the needs of ST’s European customers in the mobile multimedia and digital set-top box markets.

The Research & Development activities in Rabat complement ST’s major presence in Morocco, where it also has a substantial industrial hub. Altogether, ST employs over 4,400 people in Morocco and its cumulative investment in the country to date is $670m.

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IEEE Moroccan Section