Sanyo strikes semiconductor deal with IBM

Sanyo strikes semiconductor deal with IBM

Sanyo Electric has signed an agreement that allows it to use IBM's semiconductor design and manufacturing technologies to build chips for use in digital televisions, digital cameras, DVD (digital video disk) players and other products, Sanyo said yesterday.

The deal marks an ongoing effort by Sanyo to expand its semiconductor business, and in particular its development of so-called system LSIs (large scale integrated circuits). System LSIs allow several processor "cores" to be integrated on a single chip, which in turn helps to reduce the size, weight and power consumption of electronic devices.

Sanyo will need the devices to address an emerging market for "digital consumer information equipment," a new class of products being formed as digital consumer electronics products take on increased networking capabilities, Sadao Kondo, president of Sanyo Electric, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the arrangement will allow IBM's Microelectronics Division to strengthen its presence as a chip supplier to Japanese markets, Sanyo said.

As part of the agreement, IBM will employ some of its most advanced process technologies to manufacture some of the Sanyo chips. The agreement also provides Sanyo with a license for IBM's extensive library of semiconductor cores, which include PowerPC technologies, to design and make LSIs.

The two companies will jointly develop processors for use in about 10 product categories that also include mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The new products will be marketed by Sanyo over the next one to two years, Sanyo said.

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