NTT DOCOMO, Inc. has reached a basic agreement with Fujitsu Ltd., Fujitsu Semiconductor Ltd., NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. - to establish a fabless joint venture company by the end of March 2012 to develop and sell semiconductor products for mobile devices.
The joint venture company, leveraging the six investing companies' backgrounds in cellular communication technology and experience in application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) design and foundry manufacturing, will develop feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality. The joint venture company will focus on developing products for LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile communication standards. The companies plan to sell the new chips in markets globally.
Designing chips will help the companies reduce their reliance on components supplied by Qualcomm, which dominates the market for semiconductors used in smartphones.
The envisioned joint venture company will be formed once all parties agree on the details, which are now being worked out through consultation. Following the basic agreement announced today, and as part of preparing to form the joint venture company, DOCOMO plans to invest 450 million Japanese yen, or about 5.8 million USD, to establish a wholly owned subsidiary, called Communication Platform Planning Co., Ltd. and headed by CEO Mitsunobu Komori, concurrently an executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer of DOCOMO, by the middle of January.