Fujitsu Spearheads Mobile Chip Venture To Grab Smartphone Market Share


Fujitsu, Fujitsu Semiconductor, NTT DoCoMo and NEC Wednesday a unveiled a new joint venture through which they will manufacture smartphone chips that compete against Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

The newly formed venture, called Access Network Technology Limited, is scheduled to start operations this month, using capital contributions from all four companies. The new alliance will meld together a range of communications technologies that will ultimately yield "highly competitive" mobile products, according to a joint statement.

"The rapid expansion of the smartphone market and the increase in data traffic volumes have been making communications platforms increasingly important," the statement read. "The technologies individually held by the companies, as well as the results of their joint development work, offer a huge competitive advantage in the smartphone market, which is expected to experience an even greater global expansion."

[Related: Fujitsu Unveils New Tablet Hybrids, Preps For Windows 8]

Though Fujitsu, DoCoMo and NEC have collaborated previously to develop new communications platforms, the launch of Access Network Technology will make their entry into the competitive mobile chip market official. It will also pit the companies against chip-makers like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, which already produce low-power, ARM-based processors for smartphones and tablets.

Fujitsu, according to a report from Reuters, said Access Network Technology is aiming to snag 7 percent of the mobile chip market by 2014.

Fujitsu is also claiming the biggest ownership stake in the venture, with 52.8 percent. Fujitsu Semiconductor, the company’s separate chip-making division, is holding 9.5 percent, while DoCoMo and NEC will hold 19.9 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively.

The four companies have tapped Minoru Sakata, president of Fujitsu's mobile phone unit, as its own president.

PUBLISHED AUG. 1, 2012