TOKYO -- Hitachi Ltd. and Fuji Electric Co. Ltd. today announced plans to form a joint-venture company focusing mainly on power semiconductors.
The new company, tentatively named Fuji-Hitachi Power Semiconductor Technologies Co. Ltd., is expected to be launched in November. The collaboration may eventually include sharing of production facilities, the companies said.
The two Japanese chip makers said they believe that by sharing R&D costs, they will improve the profitability of the power semiconductor businesses of both companies. This, in turn, will enhance their products' cost-performance in the marketplace.
Fuji and Hitachi each have complementary market and technology strengths. Fuji Electric is especially strong in the medium-capacity IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) and high-voltage diode sectors. The joint venture would strengthen Hitachi's ability to respond rapidly to market priorities and to upgrade the performance of its products, primarily large-capacity, high-voltage IGBTs, diodes for automotive applications, and high-voltage one-chip inverters.
By collaborating with Hitachi, with its expertise in large-capacity, high-voltage semiconductors, Fuji Electric said it will be able to fill out its product lineup, speed up development, and expand the scope of its business.
Hitachi also has a line of electronic power-management products such as uninterruptible power suppliers (UPSs) incorporating its power semiconductors, while Fuji Electric is developing its own power electronics business around its power semiconductor operations. It was not known if the two companies would share semiconductor components in their respective power-products offerings.
Together, Hitachi and Fuji plan to enlarge the range of their product offerings to compete directly with power semiconductor leaders such as Fairchild, Intersil, and STMicroelectronics.