Stephen Simpson, CFA
Long only, growth at reasonable price, value, research analyst

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

While Atmel (NASDAQ: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 (NASDAQ: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...

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