Volkswagen and STMicro collaborate to create a NEW semiconductor amidst microchip shortage

Photo Credit: Volkswagen Logo

In the midst of a global microchip shortage that has put considerable strains on the automobile industry’s supply chain, German-based Volkswagen and Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics will collaborate to co-develop a new semiconductor. This news was released by both companies on Wednesday, July 20. This strategy demonstrates Volkswagen’s (the biggest manufacturer in Europe) efforts to stay on top of the supply of chips that are used in progressively greater quantities in next-generation and low-emission vehicles.

Since the chip scarcity started to have an impact on the automobile industry in late 2019, higher-up executives have been mentioning hints that Volkswagen would establish its first direct relationship with second- and third-rank semiconductor suppliers. Back in May, Caridad (Volkswagen’s software division) announced that it would also purchase system-on-chips from Qualcomm to support Level 4 autonomous driving standards. According to this, a vehicle is capable of managing all aspects of driving in a variety of situations without the assistance of a human driver. A spokesman for Caridad stated that the new agreement will not change the nature of the existing partnership, and neither party disclosed the deal’s financial details.

Confirmed in a statement from both companies, both Caridad and STMicro are set to start co-designing the new chip and it will be part of the Stellar microcontroller family of semiconductors.

Murat Aksel, Volkswagen’s purchasing head further mentioned “With the planned direct cooperation with ST and TSMC, we are actively shaping our entire semiconductor supply chain. We’re ensuring the production of the exact chips we need for our cars and securing the supply of critical microchips for years to come.” 

The current global semiconductor shortage has taken its toll on automakers throughout the world as they are unable to service record-full order books with vehicles that must be serviced filling up warehouses. However, STMicro and Volkswagen are working diligently to ensure there is an end to this shortage.

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