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Cypress Celebrates 20 Years in Mississippi | Cypress Semiconductor

Cypress Celebrates 20 Years in Mississippi

Last Updated: October 05, 2007

Cypress Celebrates 20 Years in Mississippi

Starkville-Based Design Center Was Cypress's First

STARKVILLE, Miss., October 5, 2007 - Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY) today is celebrating 20 years since the opening of its Mississippi Design Center (MSDC) with a reception for employees and local business and civic leaders. Cypress's founder, president and CEO, T.J. Rodgers and Executive Vice President of New Product Development, Paul Keswick, will be in attendance, along with Starkville Mayor Dan Camp.

Opened in 1987, the Starkville center was Cypress's first of 15 remote design centers. MSDC was built when Cypress itself was still a relatively young "startup."  Randy Hiltpold, one of the design center's founders, said the center came about by accident. "Some friends and I came to Silicon Valley to pitch a business plan for a new startup that would be funded by multiple semiconductor companies," Hiltpold recalled. "When we presented our plan to T.J. Rodgers (a former co-worker at American Microsystems Inc.), he asked if we would consider starting Cypress's first remote design center instead." Hiltpold said the team immediately took Rodgers up on his offer.

Among the center's original founders and the first site director was Dr. J. Donald Trotter, former vice president of technology development at American Microsystems. Trotter was building a VLSI program as a professor at Mississippi State University. "There were a lot of high-tech people in the state who felt that VLSI design was something you did in California, but not in Mississippi," said Trotter, "Fortunately, Cypress did not see things in the same way."

For about two years, Trotter helped Cypress's new design center get off the ground, then he decided to return his full attention to the university. "I didn't see how we could be particularly successful at Cypress without having a flow of young engineers coming in," he said.

Trotter, who grew up in Mississippi, said, "There was always a motivation to try to do something to make a difference for the economic development of Mississippi. Thanks to Cypress's work with the university's VLSI program, I believe that we have succeeded in drawing new industries to the region by demonstrating that Mississippi engineers can compete very well in electronic and computing high technologies."

Over the years, Cypress's MSDC has directly generated more than $500 million in revenue for Cypress and has helped the company to develop a new design flow that has been deployed worldwide. The site also developed the company's first dual-port memory, a 2K x 8 device produced on a 0.8-micron CMOS process. Today MSDC has more than 30 employees and is the company's global center of excellence for computer-aided design, I/O circuit design, and intellectual property design and data management. MSDC's tie to Mississippi State University and to the southeast region remains as strong as ever.

MSDC founders Hiltpold, Trotter and Chris Jones, who now serves as Cypress's vice president of applications, based in Lynnwood, Wash., will also be present at today's celebration. "Cypress's Mississipi Design Center has provided a great foundation for students right out of college to build rewarding careers in engineering," Jones said. "Many of MSDC's former employees, like myself, have gone on to take high-level positions within the company."

About Cypress
Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the PSoC® Programmable System-on-Chip™, USB controllers, general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity solutions ranging from its WirelessUSB™ radio system-on-chip, to West Bridge™ and EZ-USB® FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY. Visit Cypress online at

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