TOKYO, July 27 Japan's Renesas Electronics Corp
plans to close a system LSI chip plant in northern
Japan that makes chips for Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii game
consoles and other consumer electronics, after failing to find a
buyer for the facility, sources familiar with the matter said on
The state-of-the-art Tsuruoka plant's 1,000 employees will
be offered reassignments or voluntary redundancy, the sources
said, as Renesas restructures to focus on making
microcontrollers for automotive electronics, where it holds the
top global market share. The sources had no estimate for the
cost of the shutdown, expected to take place over the next two
to three years.
A Renesas spokesman declined to comment.
Several of Japan's chip makers, like the game console and
consumer electronics makers they supply, have struggled as
consumers start using their smartphones and tablets to play
games and take photographs, instead of dedicated devices.
Some, however, have benefited from the smartphone boom,
including NAND memory chip maker Toshiba Corp and image
sensor chip maker Sony Corp, although Sony's consumer
electronics operations are struggling.
Renesas had been in talks to sell the Tsuruoka plant to
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, although the
sources said the two companies could not reach an agreement. The
sources gave no reason for the failed talks, although Japan's
system LSI manufacturers have struggled to compete with Taiwan's
chip foundries, which produce chips for design firms such as
Qualcomm Inc and have invested aggressively in new
Renesas is due to receive a 150 billion yen ($1.53 billion)
investment by end-September led by the state-run Innovation
Network Corporation of Japan.
It has declined to join a planned merger of the system LSI
operations of Panasonic Corp and Fujitsu Ltd
to form a Japanese national champion in the sector. System LSI
chips are used in TVs, digital cameras and other consumer
Renesas makes automotive microcontrollers at its Naka
semiconductor plant north of Tokyo.