In modern automobiles, 100 and more electronic control units, consisting of thousands of electronic components ensure the smooth functioning of features like driver assistance systems, infotainment, air conditioning or adaptive cruise control. Therefore, a large of the overall innovation is linked to the progress taking place in the field of semiconductor technology. "Future joint development tools, such as virtual prototyping systems, will make it possible to further reduce development times, despite the continual increase in system complexity," says Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development at Volkswagen.
Volkswagen subsidiary Audi already has a rather comprehensive collaboration program with the semiconductor industry in place; partners are, among others, Infineon, STMicroelectronics and Nvidia. The launch of a similar program by parent company Volkswagen is directed to provide innovative technologies and modularized platform systems to all members of the Volkswagen group, such as Skoda, Seat and Audi, the spokesperson said.
Upon the question if Volkswagen’s move will focus on specific areas of automotive electronics, the spokesperson said “our focuses are electromobility, connectivity, autonomous driving, sensor technology and human-machine interaction – which actually means that semiconductor solutions are becoming more important across the board.” In comparison to consumer electronics, semiconductors for use in automobiles will have to meet much higher requirements in terms of robustness, resilience and longevity, he added.
A key aspect in the cooperation between Volkswagen and its yet to be identified semiconductor partners involves the precise definition of the requirements that are to be met.