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Hyundai, Kia team up with Infineon on EV power chips

Hyundai Motor Company and its sister firm Kia announced Wednesday that they have signed a strategic partnership with Infineon Technologies AG, a global top-tier automotive semiconductor developer, to upgrade electric vehicle performance and secure power semiconductor supply chains.

Under the partnership, the South Korean automakers will cooperate with the chipmaker to develop technologies with a goal to enhance the power performance of EVs and hybrid vehicles slated to be released in the future. The carmakers will also receive power semiconductors required to produce EVs and hybrid models until 2030.

“Infineon is a strategic partner that has stable production capabilities and distinguished technology in the power performance semiconductor market,” said Kim Heung-soo, global strategy officer at Hyundai Motor Group, at the partnership signing ceremony in Munich on Wednesday.

“Through bilateral cooperation, we will ease the long-term supply risks and secure the lead in the global EV market based on competitiveness products applied with new technology.”

Infineon, which is headquartered in Munich, has the biggest share in the global automotive chip market. On top of automotive semiconductors, the company specializes in developing and supplying power semiconductors, microcontrollers, sensor chips and industrial power semiconductors.

Power semiconductors are essential components of eco-friendly vehicles as they convert, control and distribute power to increase battery usage time and reduce power consumption. According to the carmakers, the number of power semiconductor producers and the scale of production are limited due to the high entry barriers for relevant technologies and the necessity to customize the chip design for each vehicle model.

Hyundai Motor and Kia said the collaboration with Infineon is expected to create great synergy in terms of technological competitiveness and mass production. The partnership dates back to the early 2000s, when Infineon began supplying its sensor semiconductors to the automakers. Later on, the German chipmaker began supplying the automakers with power semiconductors. They also jointly ran a power performance laboratory from 2007 to 2020.

“We are proud to have established a long-term cooperative relationship as a trusted partner with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia,” said Peter Schiefer, president of the automotive division at Infineon.

“Infineon will do its best to develop high-quality power performance semiconductors that are optimized for the system specifications of Hyundai Motor and Kia and supply them in a timely manner.”

Hyundai and Kia said they plan to expand strategic partnerships with world-leading chipmakers to stabilize the supply chain of key semiconductors and bolster their vehicle competitiveness.

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