updated 07:18 am EDT, Wed August 1, 2012
Access Network Technology set to take on Qualcomm, Samsung
Fujitsu, NEC and NTT Docomo have formed an alliance to manufacture their own smartphone mobile processors. Access Network Technology will see Fujitsu taking a majority 52.8 percent stake, with Docomo holding 19.9 percent and NEC 17.8 percent - Fujitsu Semiconductor will pick up the remaining 9.5 percent stake. The partnership has been borne out necessity as mobile chip supplies are constrained due to global demand, while the Japanese companies want to reduce their reliance on chips sourced from outside Japan.
The alliance pits the new company against Qualcomm as the leading mobile chip maker, as well as former partner Samsung. Samsung had agreed in principle to take a stake in Access Network Technology, but was unable to agree to terms when negotiations began. According to Fujitsu, Access is aiming to grab a 7 percent of the smartphone mobile processor market by as soon as 2014. It also plans to invest in research on LTE and future communications technologies.
Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced that demand for its Snapdragon S3 and S4 processors was outstripping supply and warned of processor shortages. Although Access will design its own ARM-based processors, it will leave fabrication to third party makers. The collaboration will kick off in August with 100 million yen in operating capital.