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Spansion Inc.
Type public company
Traded as NYSECODE
Industry Semiconductors
Founded 2003
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, USA
Key people John Kispert
(CEO and Member of Spansion's Board of Directors)
Products Flash memory-based embedded systems
Revenue $315 million USD (Q2 14)
Employees ~3,700 (2014)

Spansion Inc. is an American-based company that designs, develops and manufactures flash memory microcontrollers, mixed-signal and analog products, as well as system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. [1][2] The company had more than 3,700 employees in 2014 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Spansion is a former joint-venture between AMD and Fujitsu.[3]

Its products are used in the following markets: automotive electronics, peripheral computing equipment, consumer equipment, industrial, and networking.[1]


Spansion was founded in 1993 as a joint venture between AMD and Japan's Fujitsu Ltd. Spansion was formerly known as FASL LLC.[4] Once AMD took control of the company in 2003, it was renamed Spansion LLC in June 2004[4] and officially spun off as an independent maker of flash memory chips in December 2005.[5][6]

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

In October 2007 Spansion announced that it was acquiring Israel-based non-volatile memory provider Saifun Semiconductors Ltd. (Nasdaq: SFUN). The companies signed an agreement that consolidated all MirrorBit and NROM IP, design and manufacturing expertise within Spansion. As a result, Spansion expanded IP portfolio and enabled its immediate entry into the technology licensing business.[7][8]

Saifun Semiconductors was founded in 1996 by Boaz Eitan in Netanya, Israel. In March 18, 2008, Saifun Semiconductors Ltd. became a subsidiary of Spansion Inc.[7][8]

Spansion 4 MB Flash Memory chip, on an Altera terasic DE1 Prototyping Board

In April 2013, Spansion announced they would acquire the Microcontroller and Analog Business of Fujitsu Semiconductor for approximately $110 million, plus approximately $65 million for inventory.[9]


Spansion's product portfolio offers densities ranging from one-megabit to two-gigabits and an array of interfaces and features.[1] It has developed two Flash memory technologies, single-bit-per-cell floating gate technology and one-, two- or more-bit-per-cell MirrorBit technology, with MirrorBit products based on two-bits per cell and allow offering a range of product configurations.[1] The Company's products are designed for code storage and execution is based on NOR Flash memory architecture and utilize either traditional floating gate technology or its MirrorBit technology.[1]

Spansion concentrates on the embedded electronics market and portions of the wireless handset market.[10] Its Floating Gate and MirrorBit technology is used to make networking and telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics, gaming equipment, TV set-top control boxes, automotive equipment and personal computer peripherals.[11] MirrorBit Technology represents nearly one fourth of the entire NOR flash memory market.[7][8]

The company’s products offer designers the option to choose from 5V, 3V and 1.8V products that range from 1Mb to 2Gb.

Spansion’s standard parallel NOR flash includes Spansion’s MirrorBit NOR GL family of 3V flash memory. The product operates at 3.0 volts (Vcc), feature a random read speed of 90-100 nanoseconds (ns) access and offer a page read speed of 25 ns via an 8-word page buffer.[12]

Spansion’s serial peripheral interface (SPI) devices read information serially, or one bit at a time, requiring fewer connections and pins, allowing for lower costs and simplified board layouts.[13] Serial Flash memory is used in applications such as high-end printers, FPGAs, networking equipment and set-top boxes.[14]

The MirrorBit SPI FL family of serial flash memory: Densities for the MirrorBit SPI Flash memory devices range from 4 Mb to 256 Mb with uniform 64 Kb sectors, and 4 Mb with parameter sectors. The 128 Mb device also features an optional 256 Kb sector architecture.[15]

In August 2011, Spansion announced that it had created the first single-die, 4-gigabit NOR product implemented at the 65-nm node.

In 2013 Spansion acquired the Fujitsu microcontroller and analog business, including 8- 16- and 32-bit microcontroller families.


Spansion is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The company's main wafer fabrication facility known as Fab 25 is located in Austin, Texas.[16] The company also operates one final-manufacturing facility, in Bangkok, Thailand. In Penang, Malaysia the company has a design center which focuses on providing design, layout, CAD and verification services and support to cross-site design centers.


At the end of Q2 2010, Spansion reported results for its second fiscal quarter; the company reported both GAAP and non-GAAP results due to the impact of fresh start accounting. On a U.S. GAAP basis, Spansion reported net sales of $255.7 million ($292.7 million on a non-GAAP basis).[17]

Emergence from Chapter 11

After filing a motion with The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware,[18] in April 2010, Spansion won court approval of its plan to exit bankruptcy and was allowed to reorganize the company.[19]

On May 10, 2010, Spansion emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its old common stock was previously deemed to be impaired and then cancelled; the company issued new shares to those to whom it owed money.[20] The company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 22, 2010 under the ticker symbol “CODE.”[21]

Executive pay controversy

John Kispert was named CEO in February 2009, a month before the company's chapter 11 filing.[6] It was understood that Kispert walked into a "no-win situation" according to the local media.[6]

With the company in turmoil and needing to reduce expenses,[6] Spansion laid off 3,000 employees without severance pay on February 23, 2009 CEO John Kispert was given a compensation package that could pay a $1.7 million bonus if he successfully found a buyer for the company or liquidated the company within six months,[22] Kispert never saw this bonus since he opted to file bankruptcy[6] in March 2009.[23] Managers received an 11% increase in pay (negating the effect of an earlier 10% salary cut).[24] The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 1, 2009 amidst growing anger among former employees.[25]

In 2010, a settlement was reached on behalf of former employees of Spansion Inc. whose employment was terminated on or around February 23, 2009.[26] Kispert also instituted a policy of offering any new jobs first to the employees who were fired in 2009.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Reuters. “Spansion Inc..” July 26, 2010.
  2. ^ By Mark LaPedus, EE Times. “Spansion ships “green memory line”.” April 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Spencer Chin, EE Times. "Spansion IPO Filings Signals Spinoff from AMD." April 13, 2005.
  4. ^ a b Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “Spansion Inc-Class A.” July 6, 2010.
  5. ^ Michael Feldman, HPCwire. “Spansion Brings NOR Flash to HPC.” April 20, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Chris O’Brien, San Jose Mercury News. “The Death and Rebirth of Spansion.” July 10, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Design & Reuse. “Spansion Inc. Closes Acquisition of Saifun Semiconductors.” March 18, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c EETimes (10 Oct 2007), "Long-time partners Spansion, Saifun sign merger", EMedia Asia, retrieved 2010-05-26 
  9. ^ "Spansion to Acsquire Microcontroller and Analog Business from Fujitsu". Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  10. ^ By Eric Savitz, Barrons. “Spansion To Focus On Embedded Market, IP Licensing.” April 23, 2009.
  11. ^ By Kirk Ladenfdorf, American-Statesman. “Spansion to exit bankruptcy after more than a year.” April 19, 2010.
  12. ^ By Staff, EE Times. “[1].” November 29, 2009.
  13. ^ By Mark LaPedus, EE Times. “Spansion rolls SPI flash line.” May 21, 2009
  14. ^ “Spansion Launches 128Mb MirrorBit SPI Flash Memory.” April 10, 2007
  15. ^ Spansion. “SPansion MirrorBit SPI FL.” Accessed July 13, 2010.
  16. ^ Dylan McGrath, EE Times. “Spansion plans to emerge from bankruptcy in Q1.” December 31, 2009.
  17. ^ MarketWatch. “Spansion Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2010 Results.” July 21, 2010.
  18. ^ Spansion claims progress in emergence from Chapter 11, EETimes, April 4, 2010
  19. ^ By Steven Church, Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “Spansion Wins Court Approval to Reorganize, Exit Bankruptcy.” April 17, 2010.
  20. ^ Dan Nystedt, IDG/NetworkWorld. “Spansion Emerges from Bankruptcy Leaner.” May 10, 2010.
  21. ^ Staff, Yahoo! News. “Spansion to list on New York Stock Exchange.” June 22, 2010.
  22. ^ Spansion restores executives to full pay, Austin American-Statesman, February 24, 2009
  23. ^ Steve Johnson, San Jose Mercury News. “Spansion Files for Bankruptcy.” March 1, 2009.
  24. ^ Laid-off Spansion employees outraged over execs' pay increases, San Jose Mercury News, February 26, 2009
  25. ^ Anger grows as Spansion files for bankruptcy, EE Times, March 1, 2009
  26. ^ By Lawyers and Settlements."Settlement Proposed in Spansion WARN Act Class Action"

External links[edit]