Toshiba signs semiconductor design MoU in Brazil

Toshiba’s moving into Brazil. It has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Brazilian research institute in Sao Paulo.

Toshiba has agreed to work on a joint semiconductor design project where it will focus on the design and development for chips in the country. The official word from Toshiba’s CEO at devices and components, Shozo Saito, is that he and his company have had an eye on Brazil for some time. In January 2009 it welcomed twenty Brazilian semiconductor engineers to Japan for intensive training.

It has two design engineers in Brazil now since last March who are training up further staff. Considering the beginnings of a hefty investment in South America, Toshiba believes the “time is right for establishing a design house”. 

The term “emerging markets” is usually applied for reports and whitepapers. It’s worth keeping in mind that while technically Brazil is an “emerging” market, South America has an awful lot of traction in technology, with Brazil and its telecoms industry in particular.

The MoU says that Toshiba will collaborate with the Wernher von Braun Center for Advanced Research (VBC) and Semp Toshiba Informatica, a Brazilian Toshiba affiliate with the unfortunate STI acronym. 

The groups will execute a definitive agreement and establish the joint venture, they hope, at the end of March 2011. Capital is at $4 million US. STI owns the majority share at 60 percent, Toshiba at 30 percent and VBC at 10 percent.