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Renesas facing challenges outside Japan

by Sravan Kundojjala | 12月 23, 2009

Renesas has been trying to improve its global reach with its SH-Mobile G Series of application processors. The fourth generation SH-Mobile G processor, SH-Mobile G4, will support HSPA and is expected to be available in 2010. Renesas' SH-Mobile G series processors (integrating the FOMA baseband technology of NTT docomo) support OSs such as Symbian and Linux and are ARM-compatible, unlike the company's stand-alone apps processors. While Renesas is a prominent supplier in markets for apps processors, RF transceivers and power amplifiers, it is only a minor player in the cellular baseband processor market. Renesas doesn’t have its own baseband technology and has collaborated with the NTT docomo to design the SH-Mobile G Series chips.

Competition in the global W-CDMA chipset market is already high and tier-1 handset vendors already have established relationships with other leading chip suppliers. If Renesas can attain any high volume tier-1 global vendor for its SH-Mobile G basebands it could definitely help its long-term ambitions. But so far there are no publicly known SH-Mobile G baseband design-wins outside Japan and Korea.

In April 2009 Renesas announced merger plans with Japanese chip vendor NEC Electronics. Unlike Renesas, NEC Electronics has its own baseband technology and it remains to be seen how Renesas will leverage NEC’s baseband expertise. The planned merger with NEC Electronics is not expected to contribute much to Renesas’ global baseband presence given that NEC Electronics is also focused on the Japanese market. To read more about our thoughts on Renesas, see our recent profile on the company here.

Sravan Kundojjala

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