Atmel Receives 2004 Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Leadership for Smart Card ICs

Atmel Receives 2004 Frost & Sullivan Award for Competitive Strategy Leadership for Smart Card ICs

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/–Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced semiconductor solutions, together with Frost & Sullivan, a global leader in growth consulting, announced today at the Smart Card Alliance Conference, San Francisco, that Atmel has been presented with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan award for Global Competitive Strategy Leadership, in recognition of its achievements in the smart card IC market throughout 2003.

This award is presented each year to a company whose competitive strategy has yielded significant gains in market share during the research period. Often, the recognized company has taken advantage of recent market changes that facilitate the introduction of never-before seen methods of capturing and solidifying market presence. Alternatively, the award recipient may have executed an innovative strategy within the existing competitive landscape, empowering the company to overtake the competition.

To select the award recipient, Frost & Sullivan analysts quantify several market factors for each market participant according to predetermined criteria. The research process includes interviews with industry experts, industry participants, and end users, as well as extensive secondary data research. Formulated criteria determine industry rankings. The award recipient is ranked number one among all industry participants.

Atmel has been dedicated to the smart card market since 1998 and has established itself in the market with the acquisition of Motorola’s Smart Information Transfer (SIT) division in 1999. This acquisition provided Atmel with tremendous experience in security products, which has been integrated into its advanced technology products. Initially, the company focused mainly on the GSM market. Today, after a series of successful product developments and deployments, Atmel is currently one of the top smart card IC manufacturers in the world. Only five years into the smart card IC business, Atmel has grown at a tremendous pace. This can be attributed to its keen emphasis on technology development and constant product innovations. Atmel has shown technology leadership and innovation qualities. Significantly, Atmel pioneered the EEPROM and was the first to offer Flash-based microcontrollers for smart card ICs. Atmel’s technology roadmap includes the introduction of the 0.18 micron process for CMOS and EEPROM in 2004. Atmel is a leader in Flash-based microcontrollers. Flash memory technology has the benefits of shorter time-to-market, and maximum flexibility for card issuers. Atmel also achieved the industry’s first Flash smart card IC certification to Common Criteria EAL4+. Common Criteria is an important global standard for smart card security. Today Atmel’s products are being used for banking, government, pay TV and transport applications where high-security tamper-resistant designs are critical.

“Atmel’s ever-rising market ranking and market shares each year validate its success in the smart card IC industry,” said Prianka Chopra, Smart Cards Program Manager at Frost & Sullivan. Atmel’s total memory and microcontroller unit shipment of 92.0 million in 2002 rose to an impressive 161.3 million in 2003, experiencing a growth of 75.3 percent, which was more than the industry average.

The company’s major focus area–the microcontrollers segment–experienced stronger growth. An outstanding performance throughout 2003 pushed the company into the number five and number four positions globally in terms of microprocessor IC unit shipment and revenue, respectively. The company’s microcontroller unit shipment rose from 61.0 million in 2002 to 131.3 million in 2003, a resounding growth of 121.7 percent. It captured 10.4 percent of the global smart card IC microprocessor market in terms of units shipped in 2003, and enjoyed microprocessor revenue market share of 11.6 percent in 2003.

Atmel market share*
Year 2001 2002 2003
Units 5.4% 6.7% 10.4%
Revenue 7.3% 11.6% 12.2%

(* Source: Frost & Sullivan)

Jeffrey Katz, VP of Marketing, when accepting the award from Frost & Sullivan, commented, “From the detailed independent market research performed by Frost & Sullivan analysts to enable them to reach their conclusion, it is clear that this award is one Atmel can be proud of. The growth achieved demonstrates that our strategic objectives for the smart card and security markets are valid and on course for Atmel to become the key challenger to Infineon’s #1 position in this market in the not too distant future.”

About Atmel

Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You AreSM.

NOTE: Atmel®, logo and combinations thereof, are registered trademarks, and Everywhere You AreSM is the trademark of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be trademarks of others.

About Frost & Sullivan

Founded in 1961, Frost & Sullivan is recognized as a global leader in growth consulting. Frost & Sullivan Awards are presented to companies that demonstrate best practices in their industry, commending the diligence, commitment, and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace. Frost & Sullivan rigorously analyzes specific criteria to determine award recipients in a broad spectrum of market industries and landscapes. For further information, visit


Atmel’s security and smart card ICs product information may be retrieved at: