The STMicroelectronics and NXP Semiconductors wireless joint venture (JV), ST-NXP Wireless, is up and running with a cash balance of $350 million that was created as part of the JV.

STMicroelectronics have an 80% stake in the new company and contributed $1.55 billion to NXP. The JV already claims to be in a position of supplying product to major phone handset manufacturers responsible for shipping 80% of all handsets.

Management claim that ST-NXP Wireless will be well positioned with technologies for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) applications, for the emerging TD-SCDMA standard as well as other cellular, multimedia and connectivity capabilities - including WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, USB and UWB (Ultra-wideband).

"The wireless industry is undergoing a major change. Semiconductor companies are coming to play an ever more important role, contributing an ever larger share of the product value chain to handset makers, who expect us to deliver leading-edge solutions across the full spectrum of mobile applications," said Alain Dutheil, Chief Executive Officer of ST-NXP Wireless. "ST-NXP Wireless is being created to address this new paradigm; we'll be equipped with a world-class product and technology portfolio and top-league R&D capabilities to compete for leadership in the wireless and mobile-multimedia market."

Incorporated in Switzerland and headquartered in Geneva, ST-NXP Wireless will have 7,500 employees with facilities in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA.

According to market analysts iSuppli, the global handset market was 1.15 billion units in 2007 and is forecasted to grow at about an 8% compound annual growth rate through 2011. The handset semiconductor market represented 14% of the global semiconductor TAM in 2007, making up the second largest segment of the industry.