Panasonic and Fujitsu Form Fabless Chip Company.

Fujitsu and Panasonic  are combining their semiconductor businesses as from Q3 with Fujitsu taking a 40% equity share and Panasonic taking 20%.

The other 40% share is taken by the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) which will invest €140 million in the new combined company and provide a €70 million credit line.

The combined company will be fabless, it will have 3,000 employees and sales of about 1 billion.

Yasuo Nishiguchi, former president of Kyocera, will be the new company’s CEO.

Panasonic recently transferred its fabs into a jv with TowerJazz.

Fujitsu is talking to TSMC about turning its Mie Fab into a jv foundry.

Last year Fujitsu sold its microcontroller and analogue IC business to Spansion.

Nine years ago, the Japanese nearly succeeded with a plan to put together the manufacturing capacity of the industry in a project called Advanced Process Semiconductor Foundry Planning Company  led by an NEC guy called Hirokazu Hashimoto.

Hashimoto said at the time: “Japan has 11 IDMs but their fab capacity is not big and they can’t compete with TSMC which has 60,000 wpm fabs.

Hashimoto’s plan was to raise $1 billion for a 65nm 10k wpm  fab and then raise $5 billion for a 45nm 60k fabn.

The Japanese government  enthusiastically backed the plan but the companies couldn’t agree about which process flavours to put in the fab.

Tags: Development Bank of Japan, fujitsu, Fujitsu Form Fabless Chip Company, panasonic, tsmc

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