Lenovo eyes grand mobile chip entrance

Posted by Trent Nouveau

China-based Lenovo is reportedly eyeing a grand entrance to the chip business, with a specific focus on silicon for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

According to the EE Times, the corporation has maintained a small IC design team consisting of about 10 people over the last decade - and is now committed to significantly expanding by the middle of 2013.

Indeed, Lenovo is reportedly looking to hire 40 engineers in Shenzhen area and 60 in Beijing.

"This initiative appears to be driven by the company’s desire to control its own destiny in smartphones and tablets - a la HiSilicon at Huawei," explained Junko Yoshida of the EE Times.

"Unlike Samsung or Apple, Lenovo has a checkered history of adopting different apps processors from a variety of suppliers for its smartphones."

Lenovo currently uses a wide variety of chips to power its lineup of mobile devices, including silicon by MediaTek, Samsung (Exyonos 4) and even Intel's stalwart x86 Atom.

"[Of course], it’s far from clear if an internal group of mere 100 IC engineers can make a dent in the already crowded apps processor market.

"And yet, as Shao Yang, CMO of Huawei Device recently said, having a chip division of its own could help [the handset company] 'negotiate better with other semiconductor companies,'" Yoshida added.