EE Times Community Debates Why Renesas Ditched the Modem Business

Jul 17, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EE Times' Chief International Correspondent, Junko Yoshida, shared with community members that ailing Japanese chip vendor Renesas Electronics Corp. officially terminated its wireless modem business, which appeared inevitable to the rest of the world.


In 2010, the Renesas acquisition of Nokia's modem business was met with skepticism from the industry while revealing Renesas's ambition to transform from a chip supplier to the world's mobile technology leader. After a three-year struggle, Renesas has abandoned its ambition to transform from a chip supplier to the world's mobile technology leader.

In the highly-trafficked article, Yoshida puts forth five reasons she believes the chip vendor has failed – but also asked the EE Times community if it was Renesas's management that blew it, or was it because the global smartphone market shifted so drastically? The EE Times community, including individuals who worked on the project at Renesas, shared analysis on what they perceived happened.

ee wiz: "Without a doubt, it was RMC management. The Apple/Samsung [duopoly] in the smartphone market is blamed much. I mean, RMC couldn't find sockets in LG/HTC/Nokia/Motorola/Huawei etc.... And even in the same market conditions, Spreadtrum and Mediatek thrived."

renesasian: "There have been some critical strategic mistakes, Renesas Electronics have cut critical staff at critical times (especially in Android development) and the customer support has been horribly under resourced. 

But having horribly under resourced customer support has resulted in huge direct support from R&D for customers, introducing huge costs but also making the company extremely focused on customers.

RMC's triple mode LTE modem has been on the market since last November, but in only one device. That says a lot about how RMC has failed."

_hm: "…there are many organizations like these...Often designers have their own vision and dreams that do not fit into calculated risk strategy of a big organization. They need to look for VCs and float a new organization. They come out with wonderful ideas and product. One recent example is Enpirion, engineers from AT&T. I wish all the best for RMC designers for new innovation."

GeeKv2:  "REL has been trying to sell RMC [for] the past 6 months. Concerning the IP and the actual product, as Heikki (SVP, Wireless Modem, RMC) says, it will be a crime against humanity if that gets wasted. Someone will definitely buy it partly, if not the workforce.

As to why nothing has been sold so far, only REL can answer that..."

WW Thinker:  "Anyone who spent some time to follow the history of Renesas and Akao could see that he would have done nothing to right the ship...In truth, I was not surprised at the demise of RMC.  However, I [be]moan the once great Nokia modem engineers who are now in the wilderness.  I wish someone with good vision and bravery to pick them up, do the right thing, make the right move, and show the world what they can do!"

To read the complete story or to join in the conversation on, see: 5 Reasons Renesas Ditched Modem Business

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Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Junko Yoshida
Patrick Mannion