SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In the latest restructuring in Japan's IC industry, Omron Corp. plans to absorb its separate chip subsidiary, Omron Semiconductors Co. Ltd.
As a result, Omron Semiconductors will be dissolved. Omron (Tokyo) sells factory automation systems, control equipment, electric components, traffic systems and other products.
Omron also offers a range of MEMS sensors and ICs based on microprocessing technologies. This merger will combine the CMOS capabilities of Omron Semiconductors, which began operations only in April 2007.
Omron will move ahead with the integration of its Minakuchi Factory, which currently handles semiconductor production in a 200-mm fab.
Omron's overall sales were up 9.2 percent year-on-year, due to strong sales of electronic components and car electronics. Net income increased 6.7 percent year-on-year.
''In Japan, consumer spending and capital investment remained firm, but industries such as semiconductor and automobile manufacturing have been slowing since the latter half of fiscal 2006, and the effects of inventory adjustments are emerging in the consumer and commerce industry,'' according to the company.
''Markets related to the Omron Group are expected to be weak as a result of restrained capital investment, primarily among semiconductor and LCD manufacturers,'' according to the firm. ''Reflecting this, operating income, income from continuing operations before income taxes and net income are also forecast to be lower than original projections.''
Meanwhile, there are a number of changes in Japan. Sony Corp. is contracting in the IC arena. In fact, Sony sold its advanced fabs to Toshiba Corp.
Other Japanese chip makers, namely Sanyo, have attempted to exit the semiconductor market. But Sanyo's bid to find a private-equity partner for the unit failed.
Recently, Fujitsu Ltd. moved to spin-out its chip unit.