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OSAKA (Kyodo) Murata Mfg. Co. said Thursday it will purchase Texas-based semiconductor venture SyChip Inc. for about 16 billion yen later this month through its U.S. unit Murata Electronics North America Inc.

The major electronic components maker headquartered in Kyoto aims to bolster its wireless communications equipment parts business through the acquisition of the U.S. firm, which designs and markets such products.

SyChip, founded in 2000 as a Bell Labs spinoff, is strong in the development of chip-sized modules with application-specific integrated circuits that build wireless telecommunications access capabilities into devices such as cash registers, personal digital assistants and Internet protocol-equipped phones.

The SyChip acquisition is expected to give Murata entry into new market segments in the wireless area, the Japanese manufacturer said.