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STMicroelectronics (STM - Snapshot Report) recently announced that the new Pebble Smartwatch for iPhone and Android smartphones has been powered by its STM32 family of microcontrollers.

A microcontroller is a small computer on a single integrated circuit. Unlike microprocessors, which are more frequently used in personal computers, microcontrollers are mainly used in embedded applications.

The STM32 family of microcontrollers enhances Pebble Smartwatch user experience by striking the right balance between processing speed, advanced signal processing, high performance, and battery life (about 7 days at a time). In addition, these microcontrollers also enable complete customization, as users can download various types of watch faces and Internet connected applications. The chip delivers high-quality performance and battery life while occupying very little space.

STMicroelectronics is a global independent semiconductor company which designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems.

STMicroelectronics reported second quarter net revenue of $2.05 billion, down 4.8% on a year-on-year basis but up 1.8% sequentially. Gross profit was $672 million and gross margin was 32.8%. Sequentially, gross margin improved 150 basis points, benefiting from production efficiencies, higher volume of production and lower unsaturation charges, although pricing remained a negative.

Currently, STMicroelectronics has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that look attractive include Intersil Corp (ISIL - Snapshot Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), and Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP - Analyst Report) and Magnachip Semiconductor Corp (MX - Snapshot Report), both with a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).

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