Renesas to shutter the modem business it acquired from Nokia in 2010

Today, Renesas is announcing that it's going to "discontinue" the wireless unit it acquired from Nokia. Finnish state media outlet YLE is reporting that all 808 of Renesas' employees in Finland will be let go, of which more than two-thirds are located in the northern city of Oulu. Three years ago, Nokia decided to focus on designing and manufacturing mobile phones. It sold its wireless modem division to the Japanese semiconductor firm Renesas for roughly $200 million. The idea was, with wireless modem R&D moved out of the way, the company could concentrate on developing blockbuster handsets.

Unfortunately, the sale took place half a year before Android phones outsold Symbian devices for the first time and Nokia announced that it was going to switch to Windows Phone -- this put Renesas in the awkward position of being a modem supplier to a company with collapsing sales. Nokia Siemens Networks has large offices in the same city where most of Renesas' employees are located. Though, engineers looking for a change of scenery might want to head south to Espoo where Samsung just opened its own R&D center.