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Business deals

Renesas steps into fabless future to lead self-driving age

Acquisition plan reflects industry's shift from production to chip design

Renesas is considering buying Integrated Device Technology to enlarge its footprint in self-driving cars.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Renesas Electronics' talks toward acquiring U.S.-based Integrated Device Technology, a fabless chip design house known for expertise in technology for autonomous vehicles, symbolize an industry landscape where value has moved away from mass production and toward design and development.

IDT is strong in low-power, high-performance semiconductors that can convert such things as sound and location into digital data. Processing huge volumes of information will be critical in the self-driving era, and Renesas plans to combine the California-based company's prowess with its own technology to gain an edge. The IDT purchase would complement Renesas' acquisition last year of Intersil, whose voltage regulators can help save energy.

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