Panasonic sells its 49% Stake in TPSCo to Nuvoton

Photo above: TPSCo fab in Uozu, Japan

In order to to strengthen its financial results,Panasonic Corp. transfer its unprofitable semiconductor operations to Nuvoton Technology Corporation from Taiwan. The company did not reveal financial details, but Zacks SCR’s analyst,  Lisa Thompson, wrote in her update that it is a $250 million in cash deal.

For TowerJazz it is a big news. The Israeli-based semiconductors foundry holds 51% in TPSCo, a company formed by TowerJazz and Panasonic (49%) in April 2014 following the transfer of its semiconductor manufacturing process and capacity tools of 8 inch and 12 inch wafers at its Hokuriku factories (Uozu, Tonami and Arai) to TPSCo.

Panasonic announced that it will transfer the semiconductor business mainly operated by Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions (PSCS), to Nuvoton Technology Corporation, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company owned (62%) by Winbond Electronics. The deal is expected to end in June 2020.

The Competion is “Aggressive”

Panasonic explained in a press release that the competitive environment surrounding the semiconductor business has become extremely severe due to aggressive expansion of competitors, huge investments and industry reorganization through M&A. “In such an environment, the Company has come to believe that the even stronger business operation and the continuous investment is critical in order to achieve a sustained growth and expansion of the semiconductor business. Accordingly, it has concluded that the best option would be to transfer the business to Nuvoton.”

Nuvoton Technology was spun-off as a Winbond affiliate in 2008 while Winbond continues to focus on its large Memory business. Nuvoton provides Microcontrollers, Platform Modules for the PC industry and Mixed Signal devices such as Speech Playback and Record Products with embedded Flash, Audio Power Amplifiers, Audio ADC’s/DAC’s and CODECS. The deal with Panasonic includes technology know how transfer of technologies such as image sensors, battery management and MOSFET for LiB battery circuits protection.

Vishay Siliconix and TowerJazz Expand Automotive Manufacturing

Vishay Siliconix new portfolio of power semiconductor products will be produced two of TowerJazz’s worldwide IATF16949 qualified manufacturing facilities. “With the ongoing increase of electronic content, automotive has been the main driver of growth in our industry,” said Serge Jaunay, Vishay MOSFET Division Head. TowerJazz is ranked as Vishay Siliconix’s number one foundry.”

Towerjazz received the certification in May, 2018, and today, four of its plants are qualified for IATF16949: Fab 1 and Fab 2 in Migdal Haemek, Israel; Fab 3 in Newport Beach, California and Fab 9 in San Antonio, Texas. According to IC Insights, the automotive IC market reached record revenue of $32.3 billion in 2018 and is expected to remain the fastest growing IC market with a CAGR of 12.5%, exceeding $43 billion in 2021.

This market is expected to be dominated by analog ICs, power management including power MOSFETs, visual and non-visual sensors, RF, and lighting. Vishay Siliconix utilizes TowerJazz’s Transfer Optimization and development Process Services (TOPS) for its low-and high-voltage power MOSFET products. These services includes the development of next-generation custom processes. “Vishay Siliconix is our highly valued customer and partner”, said Zmira Shternfeld-Lavie, Senior VP and GM of TOPS Business Unit in TowerJazz.