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Panasonic sell all of its semiconductor business to Taiwan

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Not sure if this impacts the organic sensor, or just processors / chip making for TVs, other devices, etc.

Wasn't the organic sensor a collab with Fuji?

This bit of the article has me more concerned...

"Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said earlier this month the company will "eradicate" all continuously unprofitable businesses by the fiscal year ending in March 2022 and focus on sectors such as batteries and other equipment for cars."

Let's hope the camera business has been profitable these past few years.

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Not sure if this impacts the organic sensor, or just processors / chip making for TVs, other devices, etc.

Wasn't the organic sensor a collab with Fuji?

This bit of the article has me more concerned...

"Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said earlier this month the company will "eradicate" all continuously unprofitable businesses by the fiscal year ending in March 2022 and focus on sectors such as batteries and other equipment for cars."

Let's hope the camera business has been profitable these past few years.

Does the camera business get lumped in with their video business?  If so then Panasonic may look at that business as whole.

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https://siliconangle.com/2019/11/28/panasonic-sells-loss-making-chip-business-nuvoton-250m-deal/

"Panasonic Corp. today said that it has inked a $250 million deal to sell its semiconductor business to Nuvoton Technology Corp., a Taiwanese chipmaker that supplies silicon for Dell Technologies Inc. and other major tech firms.

The transaction has several components. Panasonic is offloading its Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions group, the unit’s intellectual property and its 49% stake in a joint venture that operates three Japanese chip fabrication facilities. Nuvoton is also buying out the stake of the joint venture’s other owner, Israel-based Tower Semiconductor Ltd., for an undisclosed sum not included in the deal’s $250 million price tag.

Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions is best known as a maker of power management chips. Its products are used to control the flow of electricity inside mobile devices, electric cars and other systems. The unit also offers a variety of other integrated circuits including image sensors for cameras, though some of those secondary product lines were sold off in a separate deal earlier this year. "

 

Basically Panasonic is selling the last of its semi conductor business and the JV with TowerJazz is history. It was hardly successful anyway, and their market share was tiny, at best. Plus the mythical organic sensor took way too long to make, and even now it's full potential is a mystery. It was too long in the pipeline. Panasonic could just do better by just designing sensors and fabricating them from Sony. 

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I am not sure how wise this move was.

Obviously, this is a market that hasn't even reached its peak yet and Panasonic had a foothold already there, however small that was. They also loose some of their financial diversity.

Taiwanese are going all in, and gain some interesting patents for their troubles.

All in all, Sony Semiconductors is practically a monopoly right now.

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15 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said earlier this month the company will "eradicate" all continuously unprofitable businesses by the fiscal year ending in March 2022

Well, with the general trends in cameras anyway the camera division at Panasonic will doubtfully become profitable in 2022 anyway, unless they continue to hide its unprofitability in umbrella divisions to keep it going.

This sounds like a bad sign for Lumix consumer cameras.

Makes me wonder why they spent the money and marketing to promote this new organic sensor and suggest it may be coming to Lumix brand if it wasn’t even in the short term strategy, unless I guess to seal the deal of this sale.

Every camera company is bleeding at the moment.

Canon signaled earlier they don’t see the profits in the business anymore.

Nikon is in trouble with plummeting quarterly reports.

Olympus as struggled with reinvestment and restructuring.

Fujifilm seems to be doing...good.

Looks like the Chinese will gobble up this market as well.

Shame, because Panasonic Lumix has been doing some very interesting things of late.

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8 hours ago, Kisaha said:

All in all, Sony Semiconductors is practically a monopoly right now.

In the imaging sensor division, Samsung is eating into Sony's marketshare. And also probably gaining market share from other players. That's why Sony is suddenly over enthusiastic in announcing a sensor that may not even be available until next year (the IMX686).

I am guessing that Panasonic probably left out the patent (of the organic sensor) in the sale of its semiconductor business (I am only guessing), since that seems like the only thing they really innovated on, in the last 5-10 years. Processors and SoCs are available at very low prices by hundreds of companies, and they can be used for anything from Washing Machines to Drone. And one doesn't have to waste millions on entire departments for it.

Samsung shut down its Mongoose Custom Core division a few weeks ago, since those cores were slowing down it's own SoCs, and wasting $Billions in R&D. The fact that an agreement beteren Synopsys, Arm, and Samsung Foundry was signed for accelating the next generation(s) of ARM based processors, probably means that Samsung realised that the Mongoose R&D was a monumental waste of money and no real gains were being made, by having it in existence.

Similarly, Panasonic also needs about 1$Billion in losses to make good, and getting rid of all loss making divisions is a good idea. 

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The GH5s has a black friday cashback here making it around 1650€. But I just bought one secondhand (with purchase receipt from august this year so still a lot of the guarantee left to run) that had only been used twice (it actually smells new!) for 1250€ with a Small Rig cage, 3 batteries and a double battery speed charger!

He also sold me the 12-35 2.8 mk2 for 300€ and the 35-100 2.8 mk2 for 300€ as he was moving to Nikon!!! Maybe he knows something I don't know but I'm one happy camper!

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Panasonic not making imaging sensors doesn't mean much. Their imaging sensors weren't exactly path breaking and not even sufficient for their own ILCs (probably both in quality and in production numbers). The same can probably be said for their other semi conductor innovations. It's a good idea that they are cutting their losses. They should focus on developing their M43 and L-mount better, with better network and after sales and listen to customers. IMHO, the GH5 and Pansonic's M43 cameras could have done a lot better (in terms of sales), if it targetted indie filmmakers and film students more specifically, since video prowess has always being their forté. 

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2 hours ago, hoodlum said:

Panasonic sales must not be doing well based on this 50% off sale on the S1R with 24-105mm lens

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1455068-OREG/panasonic_dc_s1rmk_lumix_dc_s1r_mirrorless_digital.html

 

I was shocked to see the prices of the Panasonic S1 on eBay yesterday. Used ones are fetching just £1000 to £1200.

Serious bargains for you guys.

Not so promising for Panasonic, who have already lowered the price to £1700 new after cash-back in the UK, for instance.

The camera started off at £2400 and I paid 2600 euros for mine. I am not too happy. This was literally only 3 months ago.

Wish I had waited.

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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I was shocked to see the prices of the Panasonic S1 on eBay yesterday. Used ones are fetching just £1000 to £1200.

Serious bargains for you guys.

Not so promising for Panasonic, who have already lowered the price to £1700 new after cash-back in the UK, for instance.

The camera started off at £2400 and I paid 2600 euros for mine. I am not too happy. This was literally only 3 months ago.

Wish I had waited.

That's a big discount!

All the Panasonics here in Spain have different cash-back offers too. The 10-25mm f1.7 is normally 1750€ but I picked one up for 1500€ with a cash-back offer a couple of months ago. Probably be selling for 1200€ come spring!

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With Sony, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic all now seriously in the full-frame mirrorless market, there's the inevitable price war going on, so the 'street price' for a new 24 megapixel camera body seems to be settling at the 1500-2000 $/£/€ price level. Panasonic can't be too far out of line with that pricing if they want to sell the S1 in reasonable volumes.

Re. them selling off the chip business - I'm not that surprised, they are a small player in it, fabrication plants are very capital intensive things and the chip business can be very cyclical. As Mokara says, it doesn't stop them designing their own chips and having them manufactured by a 'foundry' - that's how most chip companies work anyway (even some major players like Broadcom, Qualcomm, AMD etc. are 'fabless'). I think Panasonic are (sensibly) far more interested in fast growing markets like rechargeable battery production for vehicles than chip making.

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Thank God for Blackmagic. 
 

Panasonic was my 2nd fav camera company. It would be really sad to see them exit. It’s hard for me to believe the GH5 didn’t profit. Everyone had at least 1 of those. 
 

It also seems really foolish for a CEO to say something like that without being clearer. Consumers of even their profitable divisions could get trigger shy and begin leaving. Profitable divisions could start slipping as well.

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4 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Thank God for Blackmagic. 
 

Panasonic was my 2nd fav camera company. It would be really sad to see them exit. It’s hard for me to believe the GH5 didn’t profit. Everyone had at least 1 of those. 
 

It also seems really foolish for a CEO to say something like that without being clearer. Consumers of even their profitable divisions could get trigger shy and begin leaving. Profitable divisions could start slipping as well.

I kinda agree. Panasonic has sold or shifted away from consumer products. The camera division is very much an outlier in the company.

I love Panasonic’s higher end mirrorless cameras. I agree, I can’t imagine GH5 numbers over the past two years were bad.

I think their cameras balance ergos, features, and build quality the best.

I do expect some camera companies to fold. I hope Panasonic isn’t one of them.

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