UPDATE 1-Fujitsu, NEC, Docomo launch smartphone chipmaker

Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:27pm IST

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* Venture aims for 7 pct of smartphone chip mkt by 2014

* Company to design, develop chips but outsource production

TOKYO, August 1 (Reuters) - Fujitsu Ltd, NTT Docomo Inc and NEC Corp launched a new company on Wednesday to manufacture smartphone chips as Japanese firms attempt to cut their reliance on foreign-made mobile chips.

The venture pits the Japanese companies against Qualcomm Inc , the world's largest mobile chip manufacturer and leading supplier of core microchips used in fast-selling smartphones and tablets.

Fujitsu will own 52.8 percent of Access Network Technology Ltd, which it previously planned to set up on its own.

NTT Docomo and NEC will acquire 19.9 percent and 17.8 percent respectively of the company, while Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd will own the remaining 9.5 percent, the companies said.

The joint venture will develop chips that control wireless communications and signals, while outsourcing production, the companies said.

Access Network Technology will aim to gain 7 percent of the global market share for smartphone chips by 2014, Fujitsu said.

The new company will also research products for high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks and next generation network technology.

Together with Panasonic Corp, the three companies in Access Network Technology announced a partnership last year with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to manufacture their own cellphone chips.

The deal was called off this April after the companies failed to agree on partnership terms.

Smartphone and tablet makers were hit with supply uncertainty earlier this year after Qualcomm warned in April it would be unable to meet demand for its advanced chips due to a capacity shortfall at contract manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd.

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