Nikkei: Renesas, Fujitsu, Panasonic in discussions to merge system chip operations with backing from government-funded INCJ
The Nikkei reports that Renesas Electronics Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. are in discussions toward integrating their system chip operations.
As a first step, the three will spin off their system chip design and development divisions to create a new company. By combining the trio’s expertise in image processing, telecommunications and other technologies, the new firm will develop system chips for smartphones, automobiles and other products. It will receive several dozen billion yen from government-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, or INCJ.
...The move is aimed at ensuring the survival of the Japanese chip industry by creating a globally competitive system chip company. It will leave Toshiba Corp. as the only other Japanese company still making system chips, which serve as the brain for electronic devices and automobiles.
...Renesas, Fujitsu, Panasonic and INCJ aim to reach a basic agreement by the end of March, with the goal of integrating operations by the end of fiscal 2012. Because the system chip business mainly deals with small-lot orders for a wide variety of chips, Japanese chipmakers have been piling up losses in this market, unable to recoup the massive investment needed to produce advanced chips.