Microelectronics is a vital technology for automated and connected driving, and this lies behind Infineon Technologies AG’s acquisition of 100% of Innoluce BV, a fabless semiconductor company. Innoluce is headquartered in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Based on Innoluce’s know-how, Infineon will develop chip components for high-performance lidar (laser measurement) systems. The companies have agreed that the terms of the deal will remain confidential.
Lidar: A key sensor technology in the semi- and fully automated car
Lidar, radar, and cameras will be the three key sensor technologies for semi-automated and fully automated cars. With this acquisition, InfineoIn will be able to offer expertise in all three complementary sensor systems which provide the redundancy required for autonomous driving.
While radar uses radio-frequency electromagnetic waves, lidar employs laser beams to measure the distance to objects adjacent to the car. Scanning lidar systems help to detect small objects on the road.
“With this acquisition, we take a big step into the lidar technology that will play an important role in the safety cocoon essential to fully automated cars,” said Peter Schiefer, president of the Automotive division at Infineon. “We intend to make lidar an affordable feature for every new-built car worldwide”.
The first lidar systems, which will be introduced in premium cars within the next couple of years, are based on mechanical scanning mirrors and, thus, are bulky and rather expensive. To become a standard feature in all car classes, lidar systems need to be semiconductor-based, thus becoming more compact, cost-effective, and robust.
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