Japanese semiconductor giants negotiate on tie-up

Toshiba is considering an alliance with other Japanese semiconductor makers, including NEC and Fujitsu, to develop and produce next-generation, ultra-small consumer electronics chips, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Toshiba spokeswoman Kaori Hiraki however denied a newspaper report that the company had already reached agreement with NEC Electronics and Fujitsu on the joint production of new chips smaller than 32 nanometers.

Fujitsu and NEC Electronics also denied that an agreement had been reached.

The Nikkei business newspaper reported that the three companies have reached an agreement to jointly develop large-scale integrated, or LSI, chips for use in flat-panel televisions and other digital electronic appliances, the Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Fujitsu also acknowledged it is in negotiations with various companies, including Toshiba and NEC Electronics, 'as part of a global trend involving the 32-nanometer chips.'

'What to do with the next generation chip is actually a major interest across the industry,' Fujitsu spokesman Hiroshi Tsuda was quoted as saying. He denied any accord had been reached.

NEC Electronics likewise said it is considering steps on the advanced chips and denied the reported agreement.

Japanese chip makers remain at the forefront in the development of ultra-fine chip technology, but they have been losing out to foreign rivals such as Intel and Samsung, the report said.