Renesas gambles on 'smart society' market opportunities -

Renesas gambles on ‘smart society’ market opportunities


GARDEN GROVE, Calif . — After announcing two deals to bolster the financial stability of the company earlier this month, chip vendor Renesas Electronics Corp. is focusing its spending and resources more narrowly on its concept for creating more intelligent, energy-efficient infrastructure and connected devices.

Speaking at the company's developer conference here, Yasushi Akao, Renesas' president, said the company would use its leadership in microcontrollers and its expertise in low processing to push the envelope to meet the needs of what Renesas calls the “smart society.”

The company's vision, further outlined Tuesday (Oct. 22) by Ali Sebt, CEO of Renesas' U.S. subsidiary, involves enabling more productive, safe and energy efficient technologies through low power chips, sensors and signal processing.

“We have the financial stability, advanced technology and product focus to make it a reality,” Akao told a packed ballroom in a keynote speech here.

Renesas, the leading vendor of microcontrollers, has in recent months been plagued by questions about its financial stability after it was hit hard by damaged fabs and infrastructure following last year's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company announced a pair of deals Oct. 1 to shore up its financial stability—including converting its short-term debt to long-term debt and securing loans from three major shareholders and four Japanese banks.

But reports have circulated about other possible deals involving Renesas, including a potential buyout by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and a possible rescue package by a Japanese government investment fund.

In an interview here, Akao declined to comment on these reports, saying only that the company is looking at all proposed measures to improve its balance sheet.

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