The chip giant formed of the merger of STMicroelectronics and the mobile platform division of Ericsson was reborn on Thursday as ST-Ericsson.

Acknowledged by analysts as the biggest consolidation in the chipset market so far, the 50/50 joint venture claims to have the industry’s strongest product offering in semiconductors, supplying components to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp, with combined pro-forma revenues of about $3.6bn in 2008, and a cash position of US$400m.

The move follows STMicroelectronics’ April acquisition of semiconductor firm NXP, which saw STMicro acquire the remaining 20 per cent of the joint venture it had with NXP that it did not already own. The new operation, ST-Ericsson, will be a serious challenger to industry heavyweights Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Freescale.

With almost 85 per cent of its workforce in R&D and a large collection of patents, ST-Ericsson said it will focus on designs for GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA, as well as TD-SCDMA and LTE. The company also develops multimedia and application processors, as well as broadcast solutions for Bluetooth, FM, GPS, WLAN, Near Field Communications and USB.