TOKYO — Fujitsu Semiconductor and Panasonic, together with Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ), marked a sea change in the Japanese electronics industry last week by signing a definitive agreement to establish a new fabless-type company to design and develop system LSI.
The move confirms the end of an era. For decades, Japanese electronics companies were obsessed with owning their own fabs. Japanese chip vendors had also regarded developing system LSIs as the key to their future, as they wanted to diversify products from their traditional one-trick memory business.
The semiconductor production business is no longer a sacred cow either. Fujitsu and Panasonic have jettisoned most of their own fabs over the last few years.
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— Junko Yoshida is the Chief International Correspondent for EE Times.