TOKYO -- As part of a major restructuring of its chip business, Hitachi Ltd. today announced plans to set up a new company to focus on general-purpose semiconductors.
The new general-purpose chip company will be launched in Hitachi's next fiscal year, which begins after March 31, 2002. The new company will be made up from parts of Hitachi's Multi-Purpose Semiconductor Group and the Hitachi Tohbu Semiconductor Ltd. subsidiary.
Hitachi said the consolidation of general-purpose semiconductor units will create a new company with integrated sales, design, and manufacturing operations.
"This will provide an enhancement of development capabilities and will reduce costs," said the Japanese electronics giant today. Hitachi today announced the plan while outlining corporate-wide actions--including the elimination of 14,700 jobs--aimed at cutting losses (see today's story).
Hitachi said it hopes to increase coverage of general-purpose semiconductor markets with the launch of the new company.
In other IC segments, Hitachi said it will focus applications-specific integrated circuits on more profitable markets and areas where it can expand its market share. These targeted segments are in mobile and network systems, digital consumer products and automotive information systems.
Details about the launch of the new general-purpose semiconductor company are expected to be announced later this year or in 2002.
Hitachi's move is the latest among Japanese semiconductor suppliers, which are attempting to re-invent themselves in the midst of the chip industry's worst downturn in history. Toshiba Corp. is reportedly attempting to divest itself of its DRAM business, which has been hit hard by lower selling prices (see Aug. 28 story).