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Motorola, Inc.

legal form Corporation
founding September 25, 1928
resolution January 4, 2011
Reason for dissolution Split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions
Seat Schaumburg, Illinois , United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Greg Brown
Number of employees 53,000 (December 2009)
sales 22.044 billion US dollars (2009)
Branch telecommunications

Motorola Inc [ moʊtəˈɹoʊlə ], based in Schaumburg , Illinois , is the predecessor of Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility , which were split up in January 2011 . Motorola was an international manufacturer of electronic systems and components with a focus on mobile communications , networks and embedded systems . In 2014, Lenovo bought the mobile phone manufacturer Motorola from Google .

In Germany , the company was represented for a long time by Motorola GmbH in Idstein (previously in Neuhof ). In 2004 Motorola Germany achieved a turnover of around 4.3 (2.6) billion euros with around 2500 employees (2002 still 3500). Since May 2, 2011, Motorola has been represented in Germany by Motorola Solutions Germany GmbH ( trunked radio and telecommunications solutions) and Motorola Mobility Germany GmbH (mobile phones).


Motorola's office in Glostrup , Denmark

The Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (GMC) was founded in 1928 by the brothers Paul V. Galvin and Joseph E. Galvin and renamed Motorola in 1947.

In 1930 GMC built the world's first commercially successful car radio. The 5T71 was priced at $ 110–130 (about $ 1,700–2,000 today, adjusted for inflation). Because of its heavy and voluminous design, the radio was given the name “Motorola”, a word created from motor (motorcar, motion) and ola (sound, wave, la ola) (according to other sources ( brand eins ): “A combination of automobile and Victrola , the legendary gramophone ”). The success was so great that it soon became a synonym for the manufacturer and for a car radio in the USA .

The company became successful through entertainment electronics and radio equipment for use by the police and the military. Motorola was a leader in the development of mobile phones .

Many missions of the early US -amerikanischen space had radio equipment on board that had been developed by Motorola. Motorola was also the initiator of the Iridium satellite telephone system .

The microprocessors of the Motorola 68000 series , the PowerPC series and the digital signal processors (DSP) of the Motorola 56000 series have been and are widely used .

The Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) , Motorola's semiconductor division , was spun off with two IPOs : ON Semiconductor Corp. emerged in April 2000 from the Semiconductor Components Group (SCG) , which mainly produced discrete components and standard products . based in Phoenix , Arizona . The rest of the SPS, who produced the more complex products such as processors, formed in mid-July 2004, today NXP Semiconductors belonging Freescale Semiconductor Inc. , based in Austin , Texas .

The computer manufacturer Apple, which built in chips from Motorola and Freescale for many years, initially gradually said goodbye to the PowerPC and is now equipping all of its personal computers with Intel processors and mobile devices with ARM processors .

In July 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola announced an agreement that Nokia Siemens Networks would acquire the majority of the assets in Motorola's wireless network infrastructure business. Due to a legal dispute, this step could only be taken in April 2011, at a purchase price of 975 million instead of the originally planned 1.2 billion US dollars. With the purchase, Nokia Siemens Networks will get around 50 mobile network operators as new customers. It is expected that approximately 7,500 employees from Motorola's wireless network infrastructure business will transfer to Nokia Siemens Networks upon completion of the transaction. In August 2010 the company 280 North was bought for US $ 20 million .

Split 2011

In January 2011 Motorola completed its split into two separate companies, which it had announced in 2008 after losing market share. Motorola has been operating under the names Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions since then , with Motorola Mobility including the mobile phone business and Motorola Solutions the business customer division. Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in May 2012 and sold to Lenovo in 2014 .

Main processors

Basics and historical development

Motorola 68000 processor

In the early development phase of processors , Motorola was the main force behind the development of new CPUs , at that time clearly ahead of Intel . Due to the dynamism of these two companies, further manufacturers of CPUs emerged with mostly only a small, if in some cases quite successful, product range. Common examples from the “Motorola warehouse” are MOS Technology and Rockwell International , which produced the MOS Technology 6502 (Commodore PET, Apple II) or 6510 ( Commodore C64 ), among others . It was not until the use of Intel processors in the PCs successfully brought onto the market by IBM in the early 1980s that Motorola ousted from the leadership position.

In terms of architecture, Motorola CPUs and their relatives stood out clearly from those from the Intel camp. The linear address area, for example, is noticeable, it does not require segment offset addressing and is therefore easier to program in assembler code and which makes the bus connection less work. While Intel used a multiplexed address or data bus for a long time, in which the address bus and data bus were applied one after the other on the same lines of the CPU, Motorola completely separated the external address and data bus.

The different ways in which data that are longer than 8 bits (1 byte) are stored and transmitted is still consistent today. Motorola processors are Big Endian .

Motorola CPUs

Motorola PowerPC processor
  • Motorola 6800 8-bit processor that was not widely used. Successor CPUs were the Motorola 6802, Motorola 6803 and the very successful Motorola 6809 , which offered indexed addressing for the first time.
  • Motorola 68000 CPU with 32-bit data registers, 24-bit address and 16-bit data bus. Was including in the first Apple Macintosh , the Atari ST and the first Commodore - Amiga used. This CPU was one of the first to separate between supervisor and user mode, which was first widely used in Unix systems.
  • Motorola 68000 family Derivatives from the 68000 core became more and more powerful and held their own for a long time in competition with the x86 processors from Intel and AMD and were used in the other models of Macintosh and Amiga computers. See also Motorola Dragonball .
  • Motorola 88000 RISC processor, which was planned as the successor to the 68000 family, but was abandoned in favor of the PowerPC.
  • The PowerPC processor replaced the very successful 68000 family in Apple's Macintosh computers. An essential feature compared to current Intel CPUs is the traditionally low power consumption, which is why the Power PC is also used more and more in embedded applications, in which the low heating of the CPU is usually of great importance.

Graphics processors

Largely forgotten today are Motorola graphics processors from the 1980s, even though they were widespread. The Motorola 6845 was the heart of the standard IBM MDA and CGA graphics cards . In the Schneider / Amstrad -Homecomputer CPC , the BBC Micro and the Commodore - 8000 series he did his service. Its instruction set is still included as a subset in current graphics processors from other manufacturers.

Mobile phones

Motorola International 3200

Motorola started building the DynaTAC in 1983, the first mobile phone . In 1989, Motorola introduced the MicroTAC, the smallest and lightest mobile phone at the time. In 1992 the first GSM mobile phone followed with the International 3200 . In the USA Motorola was at times the market leader in this sector. Motorola produced with the StarTAC , the first clamshell with the 8900 MicroTAC the first dual-band device and with the Timeport series in 2000, the first tri-band devices. Motorola was also the first company to manufacture UMTS mobile phones ready for mass production . The first UMTS cell phones from Siemens were also based on the Motorola platform . Motorola was represented on the European UMTS market with the V980, the E1000 and the A series (A920, A925, A1000).

After the first mobile phones in the early 1990s, Motorola led a shadowy existence in Europe for a long time. The particularly flat Motorola RAZR flip phone had high sales figures from 2004 onwards.

In 2008 sales fell by 39 percent. In terms of worldwide sales, Motorola fell to third place behind Samsung , after having been second behind Nokia for many years . Motorola was temporarily considering a sale of the cell phone division, which posted a loss of $ 418 million in the first quarter of 2008 and accounted for 44.3 percent of total sales. In 2009 Motorola launched the Motorola Milestone ; a smartphone with the Android  2.0 operating system (a competitor to the Apple iPhone 3GS).

On August 15, 2011, Google announced that it would take over Motorola's cellular business, Motorola Mobility , for $ 12.5 billion. At a specially scheduled shareholders' meeting on November 17, 2011, the majority of Motorola shareholders approved the proposed company merger. In February 2012, the American and European antitrust authorities approved the takeover. At the same time, however, the competition watchdog emphasized that they wanted to continue to closely monitor Google's strategic use of patents in particular. With the takeover of Motorola Mobility, Google has secured a total of 17,000 patents and 6,800 patent applications, 18 of which are of crucial importance for the Google operating system Android, which, according to the search engine company, is to be strengthened with the acquisition of the mobile operator. In May 2012, the Chinese authorities also agreed to the takeover, but on the condition that Android should be available free of charge for at least five years.

In 2014, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo .

Most of the cell phones were manufactured by the Taiwanese manufacturer Compal .

Cellular base stations

Motorola was one of the largest suppliers of cellular base stations . This division was bought by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in 2010.

Professional mobile communications

Motorola GP-380
Motorola MTH800 TETRA radio that is registered in the BOS Austria radio network

As a manufacturer of GP and GM series of professional radios powered Motorola a majority of the users of mobile radio and trunked radio in Germany. Variants of these devices are approved in accordance with the Technical Guideline for Authorities and Organizations with Security Tasks (BOS) and are therefore used by the police , fire brigade , THW and rescue services . Other BOS radios come from the MX series (Saber series). In addition, Motorola has taken over the radio systems division of Bosch Telecom and thus has a near monopoly in the procurement of new vehicle radios for authorities and organizations with security tasks.


Before the development of cell phones was ripe, Motorola was a leader in paging technologies. This included a large number of end devices and the associated network infrastructure. Motorola developed its own transmission method in order to assert itself on the market. There were or are two target groups: on the one hand the commercial users and on the other hand the authorities and organizations with security tasks with the aim of alerting their staff.

Radio chips (RFID)

In September 2006, Motorola took over the wireless chip manufacturer Symbol Technologies , based in Holtsville, New York (USA), for 3.16 billion euros . The company, founded in 1975, produced scanners for barcodes and radio chips ( RFID ) and manufactured RFID reading devices based on the Windows CE operating system . Symbol Technologies also held over 900 patents in the field of mobile technology, including WLAN and RFID. This division was sold by Motorola Solutions to Zebra (ZIH Corp) in 2014.

environmental Protection

Greenpeace places Motorola in 6th place out of 18 electrical manufacturers in terms of environmental protection (as of October 2010; 1st place is most environmentally friendly). This involves hazardous chemical substances in the production chain as well as disposal and recycling .

See also

Web links

Commons : Motorola  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Motorola, Inc .: Annual Report 2009. (PDF; 552 kB) Retrieved on February 27, 2013 (English).
  3. dpa: Discount on Motorola network division. In: . April 29, 2011, accessed February 12, 2015 .
  4. Nokia Siemens buys greater presence in the US market. In: February 12, 2015, accessed February 12, 2015 .
  5. Press release regarding the acquisition of portions of the cellular network infrastructure assets by Nokia Siemens Networks
  6. Michael Arrington: Motorola Snaps Up 280 North For $ 20 Million. In: August 24, 2010, accessed February 12, 2015 .
  7. ^ Google Investor Relations: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility
  8. Motorola Mobility Stockholders Approve Merger with Google ( English ) Motorola Mobility, Inc .. November 17, 2011. Accessed November 26, 2011th
  9. Motorola shareholders approve takeover by Google . heise online . November 18, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  10. Google: USA and EU allow Motorola takeover ( memento of April 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), t3n, accessed on May 21, 2012.
  11. Motorola takeover: Acer manager warns Google , heise online , September 21, 2011
  12. Last hurdle: China approves Motorola takeover by Google. netzwelt, archived from the original on December 2, 2016 ; Retrieved May 21, 2012 .
  14. Greenpeace: A Guide to Greener Electronics ( Memento from January 13, 2011 in the Internet Archive )