The Japanese business site Nikkei is reporting that Apple is in discussions with chipmaker Renesas Electronics concerning taking over their division that builds mobile display chips, Renesas SP Drivers.
The deal should enable Tim Cook & Co. to bring another technological piece under their roof and help Apple’s engineers “improve image sharpness and battery life” on iPhones.
Renesas Electronics is included on the official list of Apple’s suppliers. Apple is known for investing in its partners and suppliers when it makes sense. For instance, the company holds a ten percent stake in UK’s fabless semiconductor maker Imagination Technologies which provides blueprints for GPUs used in iOS devices…
Nikkei has the story:
Apple has its eye on Renesas SP Drivers, a Renesas joint venture with Sharp and Taiwan’s Powerchip. Apple is said to be seeking Renesas’ entire 55 percent stake for an estimated 50 billion yen ($479 million).
The Tokyo company appears to have logged a profit of six billion yen on sales of some 60 billion yen in the fiscal year ended Monday.
Apple aims to complete the acquisition by summer.
The company is thought to retain most of the unit’s 240 employees in Japan for in-house development of the Renesas SP chips. Nikkei reminds us that Apple gets all of its iPhone liquid crystal display chips from Renesas SP.
According to the official Renesas SP Drivers website, the firm specializes in building LCD drivers for small and mid-sized LCD panels. LCD drivers affect a display’s quality and performance and are said to account for around ten percent of battery usage.
An interesting rumor dated February 1, 2014 claimed Renesas was withdrawing from the LCD chip business by selling off its LCD driver chip subsidiary.
Responding to the rumor, the firm issued a non-denial saying the reports couldn’t be confirmed or regarded as fact. It’s interesting that Sony, another Apple supplier, reportedly wanted to devour Renesas last year.
Not only do we now know that the rumor was true after all, it would now appear that a mystery buyer was actually Apple.
I hope this means the next iPhone is going to have a longer battery life.