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Apple Seeking to Boost iPhone Display Quality by Acquiring Chip Firm Renesas SP Drivers

Apple is in talks with chipmaker Renesas Electronics over the potential acquisition of a unit that creates chips for smartphone displays, reports Japanese business site Nikkei. The chips, which are already used in the iPhone's liquid crystal displays, improve both image sharpness and battery life.

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Renesas SP Drivers, the division Apple is aiming to purchase, is a leading producer of drivers and controllers for small LCDs. The company is a joint venture between Renesas, Sharp, and Powerchip, with Apple offering 50 billion yen or $479 million for Renesas' 55 percent stake in the company. Following the transaction, Sharp is also expected to sell its 25 percent of shares in Renesas SP to Apple, while Powerchip will retain 20 percent.
Renesas SP is the world's leading producer of drivers and controllers for small and midsize LCDs, with a market share of around one-third. These chips determine a display's quality and performance as well as a phone's overall energy efficiency – they are said to account for around 10% of battery usage.
Renesas' 240 employees are expected to stay with Apple and the company is aiming to complete the transaction by the summer.

In recent years Apple has taken a greater interest in controlling its own production supplies and core technologies, signing a deal with GT Advanced that will provide it with massive quantities of sapphire and purchasing several chip firms in the past, including P.A. Semi and Passif Semiconductor.

Update 12:28 PM PT: Renesas has issued a statement on the potential acquisition, neither confirming nor denying Apple's interest.
There were media reports regarding Renesas SP Drivers, which were published in certain media.The reports were not based on announcement of Renesas and Renesas SP Drivers’ announcement and they cannot be confirmed or regarded as fact at this time.

Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago

So the Retina thingy will be better?



I see what you did there. :D :apple:
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
bigger screen and higher res please!
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Yes please, that and bigger screen size :D
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Apple spending $479 million on a (partial) acquisition? That's a lot for them.

According to the data available on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple), that would be their biggest acquisition spending ever, surpassing even NeXT in 1997 (if you don't correct for inflation, anyway).
Rating: 2 Votes
9 months ago
Hopefully 15 hours battery on iPhone 6. It's a dream.
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago
Apparently Renesas has been trying to unload their investment in this joint venture for a couple of months now, with one of the interested buyers said to be Powerchip. It seems Apple outbid them for the shares held by Renesas and Sharp. Since Apple will not own the entire company it might be overstating the case to say that they are taking it over. Apple will own a controlling interest, but technically it will remain a joint venture.
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago
So the Retina thingy will be better?
Rating: 1 Votes
9 months ago
Improve the iPad mini display please. I bought one and returned it in 24 hours. I had to-it was sitting next to an iPad Air and results were terrible in comparison.
Rating: 1 Votes

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