The company's US headquarters is in Coppell, Texas. Headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region is in Singapore whilst Japan and Korea operations are headquartered in Tokyo. The company headquarters for the Greater China region is in Shanghai.
ST was formed in 1987 by the merger of two government-owned semiconductor companies: SGS Microelettronica (Società Generale Semiconduttori) of Italy and Thomson Semiconducteurs, the semiconductor arm of France's Thomson:
SGS Microelettronica originated in 1972 from a previous merger of two companies:
ATES (Aquila Tubi e Semiconduttori), a vacuum tube and semiconductor maker headquartered in the Abruzzese city of l'Aquila, which in 1961 changed its name to Azienda Tecnica ed Elettronica del Sud and relocated its manufacturing plant to the outskirts of the Sicilian city of Catania
Società Generale Semiconduttori (founded in 1957 by Adriano Olivetti).
Thomson Semiconducteurs was created in 1982 by the French government's widespread nationalisation of industries. It included:
the semiconductor activities of the French electronics company Thomson.
in 1985 it bought Mostek, a US company founded in 1969 as a spin-off of Texas Instruments, from UTC.
Silec, founded in 1977.
Eurotechnique founded in 1979 in Rousset, Bouches-du-Rhône as a joint-venture between Saint-Gobain of France and US-based National Semiconductor.
EFCIS, founded in 1977.
SESCOSEM, founded in 1969.
At the time of the merger the company was named SGS-THOMSON but took its current name in May 1998 following Thomson’s sale of its shares. After its creation ST was ranked 14th among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers with sales of around US$850 million. The company has participated in the consolidation of the semiconductor industry since its formation, with acquisitions including:
In 1989, British company Inmos known for its transputer microprocessors from parent Thorn EMI.
In 1994, Canada-based Nortel's semiconductor activities.
In 2002, Alcatel's Microelectronics division, which along with the incorporation of smaller ventures such as UK company, Synad Ltd, helped the company expand into the Wireless-LAN market.
In 2007, US-based Genesis Microchip. Genesis Microchip is known for their strength in video processing technology (Faroudja) and has design centres located in Santa Clara, Toronto, Taipei City, Taiwan R.O.C. and Bangalore.
On December 8, 1994, the company completed its initial public offering on the Paris and New York stock exchanges. Owner Thomson SA sold its stake in the company in 1998 when the company also listed on the Borsa Italiana in Milan.
In 2002, Motorola and TSMC joined ST and Philips in a new technology partnership. The Crolles2 Alliance was created with a new 12" wafer manufacturing facility located in Crolles (France).
By 2005, ST was ranked fifth, behind Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Toshiba, but ahead of Infineon, Renesas, NEC, NXP, and Freescale. The company was the largest European semiconductors supplier, ahead of Infineon and NXP.
Early in 2007, NXP (formerly Philips Semiconductors) and Freescale (formerly Motorola Semiconductors) decided to stop their participation in Crolles2 Alliance. Under the terms of the agreement the Alliance came to an end on December 31, 2007.
On May 22, 2007, ST and Intel created a joint venture in the memory application called Numonyx. This new company merged ST and Intel Flash Memory activities.
Semiconductor market consolidation continued with ST and NXP announcing on April 10, 2008, the creation of a new joint venture of their mobile activities, with ST owning 80% of the new company and NXP 20%. This joint venture began on August 20, 2008.
On February 10, 2009, ST Ericsson, a joint venture bringing together ST-NXP Wireless and Ericsson Mobile Platforms, was established.
In 2011, ST announced the creation of a joint lab with Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies. The lab will focus on research and innovation in bio-robotics, smart systems and microelectronics. Past collaborations with Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies included DustBot, a platform that integrated self-navigating "service robots" for waste collection.
ST Ericsson was a multinational manufacturer of wireless products and semiconductors, supplying to mobile device manufacturers. ST-Ericsson was a 50/50 joint venture of Ericsson and STMicroelectronics established on February 3, 2009, and dissolved on August 2, 2013. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it was a fabless company, outsourcing semiconductor manufacturing to foundry companies.
As of December 31, 2014, the shareholders were:
68.4% public (New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris, Borsa Italiana Milano)
4.1% treasury shares
27.6% STMicroelectronics Holding B.V.
50% FT1CI (Bpifrance 79.2% and French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) 20.8%; previously Areva and CEA
50% Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze of Italy (Finmeccanica until 2004, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti until 2010, both between 2004-2009)
Following an earlier failure, STMicroelectronics has stayed out of the volatile markets for DRAM and PC microprocessors. In 1994, it attempted to launch compatible Intel 80486 microprocessors in partnership with American company Cyrix. Only model one was completed, the 1995 Cyrix M1 microprocessor, which was intended to compete with Intel's Pentium family.
It did achieve some success, however, in the PC-compatible x86 embedded systems market with its STPC SoC line, culminating in the 486-class STPC Atlas, which reached end-of-life in 2008.
Unlike so-called fabless semiconductor companies, STMicroelectronics owns and operates its own semiconductor wafer fabs. The company owned five 8 inch (200 mm) wafer fabs and one 12 inch (300 mm) wafer fab in 2006. Most of the production is scaled at 0.18 µm, 0.13 µm, 90 nm and 65 nm (measurements of transistor gate length). STMicroelectronics also owns back-end plants, where silicon dies are assembled and bonded into plastic or ceramic packages.