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Fujitsu, Panasonic confirm fabless chip venture

Posted: 12 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fabless? wireless? computing?

Japanese electronics firms Fujitsu and Panasonic have confirmed that they have agreed in principle to merge their system LSI businesses to create an independent fabless chip company.

The Development Bank of Japan Inc. has been asked to assist with investment and financing of the plan and Fujitsu and Panasonic said they are in discussions to finalise a contract and timetable for the creation of the company.

A radical step was expected from the companies (See Panasonic, Fujitsu near agreement for unified chip units). However, by opting to go fabless in merger a number of business disposals and job losses are expected at the parent companies.

The companies said the as yet unnamed company will be independent of Fujitsu and Panasonic and would focus on offering chips that address high performance computing such as chips for servers and high-speed networking, visual processing and image recognition, mobile and low-power wireless connectivity.

In a joint-statement the two companies said that each of them owns advanced technology and intellectual property but that overseas semiconductor manufacturers have risen in prominence in recent years. The statement added that by focusing on the design and marketing of chips under a fabless model Fujitsu and Panasonic aim to achieve growth in the chip business.

Late last year, Fujitsu was reportedly in talks to sell of its main wafer fab to TSMC. The said facility in Mie prefecture makes image processing chips and processors for supercomputers. A TSMC spokesperson declined claims and announced that the company has no plans of buying off shore wafer fabs. (See Fujitsu tries to sell its main fab.)

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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