Renesas Technology Corp. (headquartered in Tokyo, Chairman & CEO Satoru Ito), Sharp Corporation (Osaka, President & COO Mikio Katayama), and Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. (Hsinchu, Taiwan, Chairman Frank Huang) announced an agreement to establish a joint venture specializing in drivers and controllers for small- and mid-size LCDs. Consolidating the business operations of Renesas Technology and Sharp in this field, the new company will engage in the design, development, sales, and marketing of LCD drivers and controllers. Business operations related to these products will be transferred to the new company starting April 2008 for Renesas Technology, and by the end of fiscal 2008 for Sharp. The new company will begin full operations on April 1, 2008.
In recent years, the market for LCD panels has grown exponentially, due to the growing popularity of LCD TVs, mobile phones with higher quality displays, and the use of LCDs in products such as car navigation systems and game consoles. A market study predicts near two-digit growth for the worldwide market. The market growth for small- and mid-size LCDs is expected to be especially strong because of the emergence of mobile phones. More mobile phones are required to support sophisticated multimedia capabilities such as built-in digital cameras and reception of TV programs to enable the mobile phones’ advanced functionality and higher picture quality standard. In addition, the demand for mobile phones is also accelerating in emerging markets such as the BRICs economies, notably China and India. As these conditions generate heavy demand for integration of driver and controller functions for small- and mid-size LCDs, market competition is expected to become increasingly fierce due to intensifying price competition and the emergence of fabless manufacturers overseas.
To respond to such growing competition, the three companies have agreed to establish a joint venture in order to realize improved cost competitiveness, increased design capabilities, more attractive products, and expanded sales.
The new company is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer focusing on design, development, sales, and marketing. Powerchip Semiconductor, one of the investors in the new company, will handle most of the actual production, using its ultrafine process technology and production cost competitiveness.
By maximizing its strengths as a fabless semiconductor manufacturer, the new company will strive to achieve stable growth in the field of drivers and controllers for small- and mid-size LCDs.
About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world’s leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world’s No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501) (NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TSE:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 953 billion JPY in FY2006 (end of March 2007). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,500 employees worldwide.
About Sharp Corporation
Sharp Corporation is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. As a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital technologies, Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components, while also creating new network businesses. Sharp Corporation employs about 58,900 people in the world (as of December 31, 2007) and recorded consolidated annual sales of 3,127,771 million yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007.
About Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.
Powerchip Semiconductor was founded December of 1994 in Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan in order to focus on the production and the marketing of DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) chips. In 1998, Powerchip Semiconductor listed itself publicly on OTC market. Currently Powerchip Semiconductor has three 12″ (300mm) Fabs, over 6000 employees, and Capital of over 78.2 Billion NTD. PSC was established upon and further developed its long term strategic relationships with Japanese High-Tech firms. In 2006, PSC and Elpida jointly established Rexchip.