Premium car maker Audi and STMicroelectronics recently announced that they have forged a strategic partnership that will see the two companies jointly doing research on developing semiconductor solutions for the automotive sector.
The two companies have agreed to "create advance semiconductor solutions" focused on three areas: energy conservation, safety and security, infotainment and comfort.
While no specific solutions were mentioned in the press announcement, the two companies noted the importance of developing automotive integrated circuits (ICs) for the car industry.
The press statement quoted a study by HIS iSuppli which estimated that revenues for semiconductors in the automotive sector have reached $25 billion. Semiconductors are used in the auto industry for engine management to improve car performance, reduce carbon emissions, infotainment, climate controls, and enhance safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and airbags.
Automotive ICs can be used to build devices for video processors for advanced drive assistance and navigation systems. The statement mentioned that the ultimate goal is for the car to have "full vehicle electrification" for full electronic control.
The companies said their partnership aims to drive innovation while securing product quality, guaranteeing supply and reducing time to market.
Audi said this tie-up will include STMicroelectronics in Audi's Progressive Semiconductor Program.
"The Progressive Semiconductor Program is a clear demonstration of Audi's commitment to innovation and recognition from the automotive world that only a true partnership attitude can lead to success," said Marco Monti, executive vice-president and general manager, STMicroelectronics Automotive Product Group. "We are delighted to be invited by a company such as Audi, a globally respected and innovative automotive brand, to join forces to deliver exciting new cars for their customers."
Audi is bringing into the partnership its OEM applications knowledge while ST will add its advanced semiconductor design skills, IP, and manufacturing process capabilities.
"ST was a natural choice, as it has a broad technology portfolio, in-house manufacturing capabilities and a proven commitment to automotive," said Ricky Hudi, chief executive engineer, Electrics/Electronics, Audi.
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