As we had reported earlier, Renesas was having a hard time getting their mobile division to turn a profit and the parent company had decided that since they couldn’t sell the division they would simply just shut it down and hold onto the IP. This division was originally purchased from Nokia by Renesas and then made into Renesas Mobile with a few additions. The company has had a hard time finding suitors for the mobile division and keeping it profitable, however it appears that since we last reported on Renesas, things have changed.
We have heard multiple rumors that there is a possibility that Samsung is a little more than interested in purchasing Renesas’ mobile division from the company. I consider it surprising that nobody like AMD or Intel went after one of the last modem companies left in the world before Samsung did. Perhaps Renesas’ own valuation of their division was too high and the company asked for too much, but the truth is that a company like Apple can afford to overpay for a modem, especially a 4G LTE modem like the one Renesas has.
There have been incessant grumblings inside of Apple that they are sick and tired of paying an arm and a leg to use Qualcomm’s modems, however they are the only modems that enable Apple’s product vision. If Apple were to buy their own modem company like Renesas, they would not only solve their modem problem but they would also give themselves the opportunity of integrating the modem into the SoC to further reduce their BoM costs per device.
Nevertheless, the rumor right now is that Samsung is meeting with Renesas Mobile about a possibly buy-out and that would mean a strengthening of Samsung’s modem portfolio as well as the likelihood that a lot of people could keep their jobs. We’re really hopeful that someone snaps up Renesas Mobile because it would be a rotten shame to see a modem company simply vanish when there is clearly still a need for one.