“Apple is in talks with Japan’s Renesas Electronics to take over a unit that designs chips for smartphone displays, whose engineering may help it improve image sharpness and battery life,” Yuichiro Kanematsu reports for Nikkei. “”

“Apple seems to want to bring this core technology in-house rather than cede development to the supplier as the U.S. company has for much of its growth,” Kanematsu reports. “Apple has its eye on Renesas SP Drivers, a Renesas joint venture with Sharp and Taiwan’s Powerchip. Apple is said to be seeking Renesas’ entire 55% stake for an estimated 50 billion yen ($479 million). The Tokyo company appears to have logged a profit of 6 billion yen on sales of some 60 billion yen in the fiscal year ended Monday.”

“Most of the unit’s 240 or so employees in Japan are expected to stay on after the transfer, which Apple aims to complete by summer,” Kanematsu reports. “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.”

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