Fujitsu Limited took its semiconductor business in a new direction today (July 31, 2014), expanding its foundry business and forming a new System LSI joint venture (JV).
Fujitsu will spin off its manufacturing facilities in Mie and Aizu prefecture into two new, independent companies and has established its first customer in ON Semiconductor, which will garner a 10 percent ownership interest in the new Aizu foundry, as well as receive 8-inch front-end semiconductor wafers from the facility. The Aizu foundry company will consist of a 150mm and 200mm fab company with the idea to garner outside customers.
Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic have agreed to consolidate their system LSI businesses into a single entity with Yasuo Nishiguchi recruited as the chief executive officer (CEO). According to Fujitsu, the JV will leverage its video, imaging and networking field resources for growth as a global fabless company that will pursue an initial public offering in a few years. The new company will begin operations beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, which ends on March 31, 2015 for Fujitsu.
The Fujitsu Semiconductor group now includes the newly-formed Mie and Aizu foundry companies, a systems memory business unit and sales functions, each company independently pursuing sustainable growth.
Production inside the Aizu-Wakamatsu fab is expected to begin within a year from today with ON Semiconductor having the opportunity to access additional capacity in the foundry in the future. ON Semi paid approximately $7 million for the minority interest in the facility with the transaction expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2014 or in early 2015.
“We believe that growth of the new company will contribute to the development of the region, as well as to maintaining employment,” said Haruki Okada, president of Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, in a statement. “We expect that the agreements for the foundry services and the acquisition of minority stake of the 8-inch fab by ON Semiconductor will greatly boost the businesses of both companies.”
Fujitsu said the 150mm line will be used for analog and other products while the 200mm line will handle microcontroller, analog and specialized products. ON Semi specifically will be using the 200mm line and those products that are currently being delivered by the Aizu-Wakamatsu facility will continue contract with Fujitsu.
The newly formed foundry company in the Mie prefecture is a 300mm wafer facility with tech including ultra-low power technology, non-volatile memory technology and process-porting engineering experience. The new foundry will also seek new businesses with proprietary process development and capital investment, hoping to enable foundry expansion and fab utilization.