Spansion, Bankruptcy, Innovation

nuclear-explosion On the heels of the worldwide financial recession,  (perhaps youve heard of it), chip-maker Spansion, a maker of flash-memory chips, has filed for bankruptcy:

Spansion shares have lost more than 98 percent of their value over the last year as the tech sector’s problems deepened, closing on Friday at just 5 cents. [nytimes]

…joining the throng of industry restructurings. But the 3-5 year outlook in the emerging tech sector has some interesting sidenotes: while manufacturing reductions are common in these bankruptcy reorganizations, two areas are not being cut: research and development, and IP ownership and development. What does a world of primary companies moving a bulk of their business model into such IP patent-portfolio and licensing ownership, much as transmeta did (ahead of the times, again, even as they are behind the times), have to say about who the real customer in the industry of emerging tech is: will it end up being science in the name of the largest consolidated manufacturers of chips? If the sector terrain devolves into pure IP sold to manufacturers, how does innovation based on non-economic priorities, (aka “scienctific priorities”) change, or not?

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