One of the things we should keep in mind is that most of the consolidations happening among Japanese chip companies thus far are driven by marriage of convenience. Their primary focus is to offload their fixed cost ("fabs" and "employees") as much as they could, then, merge the two teams. Strategic directions for their combined products and technologies appear to be determined almost an after thought.
>> The key issue here is that Panasonic's own system LSI div. was important when the parent company's ocre business was TVs, DVDs and other digital consumer electronics products.
I think the companies should focus on software alliances over what they have done in ages. I do not really see a clear transformative partnership that will arise between Fujitsu and Panasonic in the age of Android, iOS and Facebook. Unless they are focusing on the Japanese market, an unbundling of strategy is vital for these iconic companies.
>> all relevant questions you raised... but I am left feeling the same as the article title says: much was left unsaid!
The Japanese firms have been beaten in the last few years. They are missing the software revolution. I am sure that confusion is what is delaying a complete view of what these two firms want to do. The age of hardware driving huge returns in electronics is coming to an end. You need to have a platform ecosystem with solid software to comepete. Japan is slow to get that fact in their business model.
@docdivakar, thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree. Apparently a lot still need to be sorted out.
And you are absolutely right. At 20 percent, Panasonic is taking a backseat on this venture. The key issue here is that Panasonic's own system LSI div. was important when the parent company's ocre business was TVs, DVDs and other digital consumer electronics products. But now that Panasonic is doing a major make over by shifting the company's business from consumer to industrial/automoitve fields, we could easily imagine the strategic value of Unifier has greatly deminished for Panasonic.
@Junko: all relevant questions you raised... but I am left feeling the same as the article title says: much was left unsaid!
If the Panasonic team is not going to be working on or leveraging the Unifier-platform based SoC's, the joint system LSI company will most likely be led by the Fujitsu team. At 20% ownership, it seems like Panasonic is taking a backseat in the joint venture.
At the last DesignWest (Embedded Systems) conference held at San Jose, I saw the 4K2K 70+inch display by Panasonic, it was impressive and was better than Samsung's. It is unfortunate that the future of this display SoC's by Panasonic is in doubt!
Perhaps there is more info to unfold in the coming days?
The plan for this Fujitsu-Panasonic system LSI co. has been long mulled, debated, and announced for some time now. It has just taken so long to actually sign a definitive agreement until now. I suspect a lot of details still need to be ironed out. We remain skeptical of the venture until we hear from the company's new management of its new strategy.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.