SAN JOSE -- After about a year in the works, Japanese chip maker Renesas Technology Corp. today (March 31, 2003) said it has officially opened for business.
Renesas also outlined its product and integration strategy in hopes of becoming the next powerhouse in the IC industry, although the Tokyo-based company faces several challenges amid the downturn.
Last year, Japan's Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. set plans to combine their non-DRAM operations, forming the world's third largest chip maker, with $7 billion in sales in 2002. The combined company, to be known as Renesas Technology, has 27,200 employees worldwide and is only behind Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in terms of worldwide sales in 2002.
The two companies originally announced the blockbuster merger of their respective semiconductor operations last March (see March 24, 2002 story ). The new semiconductor company calls for Hitachi to own 55% of the venture and Mitsubishi holding 45% (see Oct. 3, 2002 story ).
In a briefing today, Renesas said it has completed the integration of operations in North America and Europe, resulting in the establishment of Renesas Technology America Inc. and Renesas Technology Europe Ltd.
Renesas is still in the process of integrating the respective chip operations of Hitachi and Mitsubishi in Japan, said Dan Mahoney, COO of San Jose-based Renesas Technology America. "The schedule in Japan is very different," said Mahoney, who had been the president and CEO of Hitachi's U.S. chip arm prior to the merger.
Still, some 13 Japanese affiliated companies have already been consolidated into the organization, including Renesas Technology Sales Co., Ltd. and Renesas Solutions Corp., the respective sales and applications engineering companies, as well as eight overseas affiliated companies. Renesas' affiliated companies in Asia are slated for operations by July 2003.
The moves will make Renesas a more "nimble, lean and mean" competitor in the semiconductor industry, Mahoney said in an interview with SBN.
The Renesas executive also said there is little or no product overlap between the chip operations of Hitachi and Mitsubishi.
"All of the products from Hitachi are coming to Renesas," he said. Most of Mitsubishi's products are coming."
As an organization, Renesas Technology is structured into three primary business units: microcontroller/system-on-chip (SoC) products; mixed signal, RF, and discrete devices; and memory chips, which include flash and SRAM products.
Hitachi and Mitsubishi do overlap on three product fronts: microcontrollers, SRAMs, and flash memories. Renesas will continue to sell and support products from both companies in these segments.
Mitsubishi's RF and power semiconductor lines will not be part of Renesas. Mitsubishi will continue to sell those lines under its own chip operations and will compete against Hitachi and others in the arena.