Rohm Acquires Oki Electric and Enters OLED Market via Lumiotec JV

On May 28, 2008, Rohm confirmed that it had acquired Oki Electric Industry’s semiconductor operations and entering into the organic light emitting diode (OLED) market.

Rohm is a semiconductor company that was founded in 1958 and posted an annual revenue of JPY373 billion (US$3.6 billion) in FY2008. Rohm currently manufactures ICs, discrete semiconductors, opto-electronics, passive components and sub-systems. One of the more interesting products is its LEDs including PICOLED, chip LEDs and LED lamps. Rohm claims that its PICOLED is the world’s smallest and thinnest (as of November 2007), measuring just 1.0 x 0.6mm. PICOLED, as the name suggests, is geared toward pico projectors, ultra-small projectors that can be fitted into mobile devices.

Rohm purchased Oki Electric’s 6,000 employee semiconductor operations for JPY100 billion (US$959 million). Oki sells ASICs, MCUs, power management ICs, RF devices, sensors, etc. and the purchase by Rohm will catapult the company into new markets including the foundry sector with technologies such as high voltage processes, silicon-on-insulator (SOI), and wafer-level chip-size packaging (W-CSP). For instance, Oki Semiconductor has a MEMS-based 3d accelerometer that can be used to detect shock, vibration and a variety of other motions by measuring acceleration on three orthogonal axes.

Oki Electric Industry will transfer 95% of its issued shares to Rohm. The board of directors will still need to approve the spin off of its semiconductor business. Oki’s semiconductor business has locations in North America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan, Europe and Japan.

Rohm will also enter the much hyped OLED market. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Rohm, Toppan Printing, Mitsui, and Junji Kido has established a joint venture called Lumiotec. The four companies via Lumiotec will study the business viability of OLEDs for lighting applications. The joint venture is capitalized at JPY1.4 billion (US$13.4 million) with Mitsubishi doing the heavy lifting and putting in 51% of the capital; Rohm’s equity investment is at 34%, Toppan Printing is at 9.9%, Mitsui at 5.0%, and Junji Kido at 0.1%. Lumiotec is headquartered in Yonezawa City in Yamagata Prefecture and is headed by Hisao Shigenaga who is the Deputy General Manager of Mitsubishi’s Machinery and Steel Structures Headquarters. Shigenaga will oversee 20 employees.

Source: EETimes, Oki Semiconductor (1, 2), Rohm

[tags]3D Accelerometer, Oki Electric Industry, Rohm, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toppan Printing, Mitsui, Junji Kido, Lumiotec, OLED, Organic Light Emitting Diode, LED[/tags]

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