Renesas Electronics is considering whether to buy Intersil Corp., a US vendor of analogue, mixed-signal and power semiconductors.
Renesas is in talks, according to reports, and is considering paying up to 300 billion yen (about $3 billion). The move by Renesas comes amid a wave of consolidation across the semiconductor and electronics sectors.
Like many Japanese chip companies Renesas Electronics has been struggling over recent years. The struggle dates back before its creation in 2010 by the merger of Renesas Technology and NEC Electronics. Renesas Technology had been a merger of the chip businesses of Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric.
In 2015, Renesas was the 16th largest chip vendor in the world in 2015, according to IC Insights. And having been the world's leading automotive chip vendor in 2014 Renesas fell back to third place behind NXP and Infineon in 2015, according to Strategy Analytics.
Renesas is looking to boost its standing in automotive chips according to reports. However, a price of $3 billion is considered by observers to be a high premium for Intersil, which had a market capitalisation of about $2.12 billion prior to the news of the Renesas talks.