Thursday, August 1, 2013

Seeking Alpha: Atmel Needs To Show That Touch Can Be A Growth Business Again

While Atmel (ATML) has looked for touch controllers/sensors in mobile devices to build on its core microcontroller business and reignite some growth, that plan hasn't exactly gone to plan. Atmel has done a good job of developing new technologies like maXTouch, but the company has not yet broken out of a cycle where the higher-end touch companies like Atmel, Synaptics (SYNA) and Cypress (CY) play leapfrog with each other on each new device iteration (gaining and losing sockets) before eventually seeing lower-ASP rivals catch up.

At the same time, the underlying recovery for non-touch microcontrollers has been a touch-and-go affair in end markets like industrial, wireless, consumer devices and so on. While Atmel continues to offer leverage to both a more general chip demand recovery as well as company-specific drivers like improved margins and acceptance of its new XSense technology, the slowdown in high-end handsets and the very slow adoption of touch-enabled laptops/notebook computers still make this a challenging investment thesis.

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Atmel Needs To Show That Touch Can Be A Growth Business Again

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