February 18, 2005 – Texas Instruments Inc. has agreed to sell its large-size thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) driver operations to Oki Electric Industry, with transfer of this Japan-based semiconductor product line to Oki by the end of March, according a TI press release. TI declined to state the financial details, but the Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Thursday that the sale was estimated at 5 billion yen (US$47.4 million).
On March 18, Oki is set to acquire patents and marketing rights on products from Texas Instruments Japan Ltd., the U.S. firm’s Japanese unit that oversees its LCD driver chip operations, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Oki will take on about 50 TI technicians and inherit the company’s clients. No new production facilities will be necessary because the LCD chips can be fabricated at Oki’s plants, and the foundry that TI outsourced production to will continue making the chips.
TI said in its statement that Oki will take ownership of the business, which designs integrated circuits that drive LCD displays with a diagonal size of 5 in. or more. The exact timing of the transition will depend on relevant government approvals. The sale does not affect TI’s other display products such as plasma display panel drivers, color cell phone driver/controllers and LCD panel timing controllers.