Stellantis, and Foxconn have signed a non-binding MOU to cooperate on the design of automotive chips, in support of Stellantis and third-party customers.
“With Foxconn, we aim to create four new families of chips that will cover over 80% of our semiconductor needs, helping to significantly modernize our components, reduce complexity, and simplify the supply chain,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO.
This partnership was announced as part of the Stellantis Software Day 2021 event where the Company unveiled STLA Brain, the new electrical/electronic and software architecture launching in 2024 across Stellantis’ four EV platforms – STLA Small, Medium, Large and Frame. STLA Brain is fully OTA capable, making it highly flexible and efficient.
The collaboration will support Stellantis’ initiatives to reduce semiconductor complexity, design a new family of purpose-built semiconductors to support Stellantis in the rise of software-defined vehicles.
“Foxconn has the depth of experience in manufacturing semiconductors and software – two key components in the production of electric vehicles. We look forward to sharing this expertise with Stellantis and together tackle the long-term supply chain shortages, as we continue with the expansion into the electric vehicle market,” said Young Liu, Chairman & CEO of Foxconn Technology Group.
Today’s announcement marks the second collaboration between Stellantis and Foxconn. In May, the companies announced the Mobile Drive joint venture aimed at developing smart cockpit solutions enabled by advanced consumer electronics, HMI interfaces and services that will exceed customer expectations.
♦ Further reading – Foxconn teams up with the world’s 4th largest carmaker
Since early 2021, Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, has taken a series of steps to gain a foothold in the EV industry. In June, it officially launched its MIH open platform, and in October it showcased its first EV prototypes as well as an EV software platform co-developed with Arm. In synergy with its EV strategy, Foxconn has also been active in the semiconductor industry, identifying it as a pillar of its future development.
Foxconn’s semiconductor strategy took a milestone step in 2016, when it made two decisive moves. First, it partnered with ARM to create a chip design center in Shenzhen, China. Second, it acquired the Japanese electronics maker Sharp, spending US $3.5 billion. Back then, the acquisition was mainly interpreted in terms of Foxconn’s interest in Sharp’s OLED screen panels, especially as a main manufacturer for Apple’s iPhones.
Largely overlooked was the fact that Sharp also owned a 8-inch fab in Fukuyama at the 0.13μm node. Back then, Foxconn’s founder and CEO, Terry Gou, already revealed that the acquisition partially aimed to combine Foxconn and Sharp’s experiences in semiconductors.
In 2017, Foxconn established the “S” subgroup, dedicated to the IC industry. The fact that Young Liu once headed this subgroup before he took the helm of the entire conglomerate explains how semiconductor was prioritized in Gou’s mind.