LONDON – Anapass Inc. (Seoul, South Korea), a vendor of display processors, has formed a collaboration and investment agreement with GCT Semiconductor Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) to develop 4G application processor platforms.
Formed in 2002, Anapass went public on the Kosdaq exchange in Korea in November 2010. WiMax and cellular communications chip vendor GCT also planned to go public in 2010 but pulled its IPO and remains privately held. Its investors include: Samsung, LG Electronics, NTT Docomo, UMC and SK Telecom.
Anapass said it will collaborate with GCT to develop a mobile application processor that operates with a GCT's 2G/3G/4G RF/modem chip. Together the two companies will offer a platform incorporating 4G, LTE, RF, modem and application processor.
As part of the agreement, Anapass is making a $30 million strategic investment in GCT while gaining access to technology and support for its mobile application processor strategy. The two companies said they intend to attack the mid-tier of the smartphone market.
Anapass' success has been based on being the leading supplier of panel controller ICs for Samsung's flat-screen televisions. The company has subsequently moved into mobile display processors and the company said it now intends to enter the smartphone market to pursue expansion and diversification of products, customers and markets.
GCT's single-chip LTE modem was developed in conjuction with LG Electronics and has been used by many wireless operators including Verizon, Sprint, Vodafone, SK Telecom and LG Uplus. GCT was ranked third in market share of FDD-LTE baseband chip shipments in 2012 behind Qualcomm and Samsung, in a recent analysis from Forward Concepts. The company is developing a multimode 4G/3G/2G baseband and RF modem chip.