• Kyodo

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Fujitsu Ltd. will withdraw from the semiconductor development venture for smartphones it set up with NTT Docomo Inc. and NEC Corp., Fujitsu sources said Thursday.

The company has found it difficult to compete with foreign rivals because of its failure to develop a high-performance product at a low cost.

The three companies have been working to develop baseband chips, which control wireless communications and signals and are known as the “brains” of smartphones.

The companies will liquidate Access Network Technology Ltd., which they jointly established in 2012, by the end of March. Some 90 employees including engineers will be transferred to Fujitsu and the other companies where they previously worked.

Qualcomm Inc. of the United States commands about 40 percent of the global baseband chip business. Other foreign rivals include Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc., which produces semiconductors for low-cost smartphones popular in China.

Fujitsu has been struggling to sell its smartphones and is working to reduce its deficit in the mobile phone business.

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