* Fujitsu plant produces image-processing and supercomputer
* Fujitsu says nothing has been decided
TOKYO, July 27 Japan's Fujitsu Ltd is
in talks to sell its main semiconductor plant to the world's
largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
Co (TSMC), sources close to the matter told Reuters on
Faced with sky-high costs of upgrading infrastructure, a
persistently strong yen and stiff competition from the likes of
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Japanese chipmakers are
scrambling to outsource production.
Fujitsu's plant in Mie prefecture, western Japan, makes
image-processing chips for cameras and number-crunching chips
for super computers.
The company plans to sell the plant as part of its overall
strategy to separate manufacturing from design, in a bid to
puruse a so-called "fab-less" model where it no longer owns the
production facilities, or "fabs", the sources said.
Fujitsu said the news, which was earlier reported by the
Nikkei business daily, had not been announced by the company. It
said nothing had been decided on the matter.
TSMC spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun declined to comment.
Earlier this year, several sources familiar with the matter
told Reuters that Renesas Electronics, Fujitsu and
Panasonic Corp were in talks to merge their chip
operations and outsource production to TSMC rival
Renesas, the world's No. 1 maker of microcontroller chips
used in cars, is also currently in talks to sell its system LSI
plant in northern Japan to TSMC, the Nikkei newspaper said. Both
Fujitsu and Renesas aim to complete negotiations by year-end,
the daily reported.
Renesas said in May it will outsource the production of its
top-end chips to TSMC.
Shares in Fujitsu were trading up 1.5 percent, compared with
a 1.2 percent rise on Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei.
Renesas shares were up 3.1 percent.
(Reporting by Maki Shiraki. Additional reporting by Clare Jim
in TAIPEI, Neha Alawadhi in BANGALORE. Writing by Mari Saito;
Editing by Richard Pullin)