Japan's Rohm Co. Ltd. will change its name to Rohm Semiconductor Inc., effective Jan. 1, 2009.
In business for over 50 years and with sales of nearly $4 billion, Rohm (Kyoto) has grown from its roots as a compact resistor manufacturer into a major semiconductor supplier.
''Our new name affirms our heritage as a company that persistently evolved from resistor products while defining our strength as a semiconductor manufacturer,'' said Nobuyuki Nakano, president of Rohm Semiconductor, North America, in a statement.
In 1958 Toyo Electronics Industry Corp. was founded as a compact resistor manufacturer carrying on the work of the venture firm established four years earlier. Then, in 1967, the company moved into the development and manufacture of semiconductor products that defines the Rohm of today.
Seeking to boost its IC presence, Rohm recently acquired Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd.'s chip unit for about 100 billion yen ($959 million), as previously expected. The chip unit, Oki Semiconductor Co. Ltd., is a second-tier supplier and has reportedly been losing money. The unit has 6,000 employees.
The move will propel Rohm into new markets. Oki sells ASICs, MCUs, power management ICs, RF devices, sensors and other products. Rohm will also inherit Oki's efforts in the foundry sector. Oki has various technologies, such as high voltage processes, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and wafer-level chip-size packaging (W-CSP).
Oki has been looking to expand its semiconductor business for some time. For its part, Rohm has been looking for more opportunities in semiconductors.