DoCoMo, others to make smartphone chips with Samsung: report

(Reuters) - NTT DoCoMo Inc and other Japanese firms will partner South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co to develop key chips for next-generation smartphones to reduce the reliance on Qualcomm Inc, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The companies -- including Fujitsu Ltd, NEC Corp and Panasonic Corp unit Panasonic Mobile Communications Co -- are in talks to form a joint venture next year to develop chips that control wireless communications and signals, the paper said.

Qualcomm has about 80 percent of the market for such semiconductors, known as baseband chips, the Nikkei said.

DoCoMo is to take a majority stake in the joint venture, to be capitalized at about 30 billion yen ($389.6 million) and headquartered in Japan, said the paper.

The venture expects to use the chips in the partners’ own smartphones and to sell to other handset manufacturers, Nikkei said.

Samsung expects the joint venture to help it in the development of next-generation telecommunication while DoCoMo hopes to lower chip procurement costs by taking part in development, the daily reported.

($1 = 77.000 Japanese Yen)

Reporting by Sumit Jha in Bangalore