TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Hitachi Ltd said on Friday it would cease production of chips used in information and telecoms hardware at the end of March 2014.

"The semiconductor industry has seen an increasingly horizontal division of labor in terms of development, design and manufacturing in recent years," said Hitachi in a statement.

Hitachi, an industrial manufacturer that makes goods ranging from nuclear reactors to washing machines, said efforts to boost cost efficiency and competitiveness drove the decision.

(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Michael Watson)