SAN FRANCISCO—Japanese chip vendors Renesas Electronics Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. are in discussions about the possibility of integrating their system chip operations, according to a report Tuesday (Feb. 7) by Japan's Nikkei news service.
Under the proposed plan, the three companies' chip manufacturing divisions would be separated from their design divisions and integrated into a joint venture that Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), a government-backed investment fund, is creating with Globalfoundries Inc., Nikkei reported.
Renesas, Fujitsu and Panasonic would spin off their system chip design and development divisions to create a new company to develop chips for smartphones, automobiles and other products, Nikkei reported.
INCJ would invest several dozen billion yen (hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars) in the new company, according to the Nikkei report. The new JV would likely acquire one fab from Renesas and one from Fujitsu, according to the report. The JV is also in final discussions to purchased Elpida Memory Inc.'s lone fab in Japan, Nikkei reported.
Nikkei reported that Renesas, Fujitsu, Panasonic and INCJ are hoping to reach a basic agreement by the end of March, with a goal of integrating operations by the end of March 2013.
According to Nikkei, such a plan would leave Toshiba Corp. as the only other Japanese company still making system ICs.