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Renesas to close Japan plant making chips for game consoles, cameras

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Renesas Electronics Corp said Friday it will close a plant that makes system LSI chips for Nintendo Co Ltd's game consoles and other consumer electronics after failing to find a buyer for the facility in Tsuruoka in northern Japan.

Employing 1,000 people, the factory struggled to make money as game console makers and camera makers it supplied were hurt by competition from smartphones and tablets that users can use to play games and take photographs.

Amid the squeeze on those chips, Renesas, which will receive 150 billion yen ($1.53 billion) in funding from the state-run Innovation Network Corp of Japan by the end of September, is focusing on microcontrollers used in automotive electronics, where it holds the top global market share.

Renesas, which earlier declined to merge its system LSI business with that of Panasonic Corp and Fujitsu Ltd, had been in talks to sell the Tsuruoka plant to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, but failed to reach an agreement.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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