"Climate debate will stimulate automotive chip demand"

October 31, 2019 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Climate debate will stimulate semiconductor demand, Infineon says
Recently, the EU gave the green light for Infineon's acquisition of Cypress. This will enable the Munich-based chip manufacturer to close major gaps in its portfolio. But at the same time, the climate debate is causing massive changes in the way vehicles are built and used in the future. In an interview with eeNews at the recent ELIV, the Vice President and head of Infineon’s Automotive systems group, Hans Adlkofer, explains the company's prospects for the future.

With regard to the Cypress takeover, Infineon sees itself on the right track following the approval of the deal by the European antitrust authority. The Company expects the deal to be completed by the end of the year. The planned acquisition will optimally complement Infineon's product portfolio, especially in the area of mid-range microcontrollers, which typically are used in clusters and dashboards. "Cypress has a very good portfolio in this segment, which complements ours very well," said Adlkofer. Cypress also has many interesting products in the connectivity area, he added.

At the same time, the intensive climate debate is putting the automotive industry at the center of political discourse. One doesn't have to be a clairvoyant to come to the conclusion that this discussion will have a massive impact on vehicle design. From 2021, a maximum emission of 95 grams of CO2 per car will be prescribed, albeit calculated to the total fleet of the respective manufacturer. Adlkofer sees this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage for the semiconductor industry as a whole and for Infineon in particular. This is because as one of the consequences of the debate, all vehicles will be electrified in the future, and there will hardly be any cars equipped exclusively with an internal combustion engine (ICE). "We will see different stages of electrification, from the mild hybrid with 48V technology to the PHEV and the BEV. This will be accompanied by an increase in semiconductor content, which is currently around $417 and will rise to around $780 for the PHEV," said Adlkofer.


The expected elimination of the internal combustion engine, on the other hand, will not have such a big impact - Adlkofer expects a semiconductor content of about $ 60 to disappear from the car with it. The additional business opportunity for semiconductors due to electrification is considerably higher, especially for power semiconductors, where Infineon claims to be the market leader. Even if the "installed base" of conventional vehicles will probably remain a major factor for several decades to come, the number of new developments in this area is declining. "We are assuming that we will see the ICE for a very long time to come, but that we will see it increasingly electrified, i.e. as a hybrid engine in various degrees," explained Infineon's automotive systems manager.

Adlkofer also sees important impetus for the semiconductor business in the increasing connectivity. In addition to RF components, Infineon is also seeing growing demand for technologies and components for cyber security. "The basic technologies for this are all available, it's all about placing the right technology in the right application. This connection with the automotive use case is the big challenge, because we don't need a selective automotive solution, but an end-to-end solution," said Adlkofer.

Related articles:

Infineon slightly beats estimates in difficult market

Infineon to swallow Cypress in a move to expand product portfolio

Infineon throws its hat into the automotive security ring

 


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