Akao has pledged to reduce
Renesas' fixed costs by 25 percent by 2015. He has enacted a series of
steps—including eliminating thousands of jobs, many through an early
retirement incentive program—and is moving the company to a "fab lite"
model by selling or transferring ownership of fabs and other facilities.
Renesas transferred ownership of a fab in Japan to Fuji Electric Co.
Ltd. earlier this year, and several reports have linked Renesas with
negotiations to sell other fabs to foundry vendors, including TSMC and
Ali Sebt CEO of Renesas Electronics America, at DevCon 2012.
Renesas' smart society concept is one take on a
broader move by the semiconductor industry to target offerings toward
embedding intelligence into infrastructure such as electrical grids,
home networks, cars and industrial equipment to emphasis energy
efficiency. Research firm International Data Corp. projects that the
total available market for chips in smart devices will exceed $25
billion by 2020.
Sebt outlined several applications that fit
into Renesas' concept of a smart society, including in-home
environmental detectors, improved the efficiency of HVAC motors in
commercial buildings and load-balancing technologies to support a smart