Human technology

Volkswagen to develop new semiconductor with STMicro amid chip crisis

PARIS/BERLIN, July 20 (Reuters) – German Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics will co-develop a new semiconductor amid a global microchip crisis that has severely strained testing the automotive industry’s supply chain, the companies said on Wednesday.

The move illustrates how Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, is moving to better control the supply of microchips, which are increasingly found in next-generation, low-carbon vehicles.

It is Volkswagen’s first direct relationship with second- and third-tier semiconductor suppliers, a move executives have hinted at since chip shortages hit the auto industry in late 2019.

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Volkswagen’s software unit Cariad said in May it would also source the system-on-chip from Qualcomm for autonomous driving up to Tier 4 standards, in which the car can handle all aspects of driving. driving in most circumstances without human intervention. Read more

The new deal would not affect that partnership, a Cariad spokesperson said.

Neither party has disclosed the financial implications of the deal, making STMicroelectronics one of Volkswagen’s key technology partners.

Cariad and STMicro are set to co-design the new chip, which will be part of the Stellar microcontroller semiconductor family, the companies said in a statement.

The two companies are “preparing to agree” that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) (2330.TW) will manufacture it, according to the statement.

“Through the planned direct cooperation with ST and TSMC, we are actively shaping our entire semiconductor supply chain,” said Murat Aksel, head of procurement at Volkswagen.

“We are ensuring the production of the exact chips we need for our cars and securing the supply of critical microchips for years to come.”

The global shortage of semiconductors has left automakers around the world struggling with record order books with unfinished vehicles clogging warehouses for months and no clear end in sight.

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Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain in Paris, Victoria Waldersee in Berlin, Editing by David Evans

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