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Renesas to drop mobile subsidiary

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile chip? wafer fab? restructuring?

Renesas Electronics Corp. could sell its mobile chip subsidiary, Renesas Mobile Corp., as part of its planned re-organization to turnaround its fate.

A report from Asahi Shimbun mentioned that Renesas is considering selling off or closing at least 10 of its 19 domestic manufacturing plants over the next three years. Other reports paint a gloomier picture and say that as high as 12 plants will be closed within the one or two years.

The closures are in-line with previous reports that Renesas plans to eliminate up to 14,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its workforce, while selling the company's leading system-chip fab in Yamagata to leading foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

The downsizing is intended bring the company into profitability. Renesas has been loss-making since its formation as a merger of the chipmaking interests of NEC and Renesas Technology in 2010.

The latest local reports detailed that the factory closures could produce 4,000 lay-offs, while 5,000 staff could be offered early retirement. Renesas Mobile employs about 1,800 people, who could be taken of Renesas' books by a sale and 1,300 workers employed at the Yamagata wafer fab are due to transfer to TSMC. Similarly, Renesas has already decided to sell a wafer fab in Aimori prefecture that makes microcontrollers to Fuji Electric Co. thereby eliminating 550 people from its payroll.

Renesas will keep its Naka wafer fab in Ibaraki prefecture as its main facility, the Asahi Shimbun report said. The Naka plant was badly damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and the rapid rehabilitation of the plant was one of numerous heroic achievements that took place after the disaster.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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