Toyota has reached an agreement with Denso to research and develop next-generation in-vehicle semiconductors.
The two companies will form a joint venture (JV) by April 2020 with a capitalisation of 50 million Yen (€409,170) and around 500 employees. With modern vehicles featuring more and more electronic controls, the number of in-vehicle semiconductors has also grown, and the performance of these semiconductors has continuously improved. Toyota and Denso hope to continue this development.
To create a future of mobility that is safe and sustainable, it is necessary to develop next-generation semiconductors that are integral to technology innovations such as connected cars, automated driving, sharing mobility and electrification.
With carmakers focusing more and more on driverless controls, computing power in a vehicle is set to become more critical than ever. For a car to process the required data quickly and safely, often within fractions of a second, in order to complete processes from navigation to traffic light recognition, will require new components that can transfer power and data efficiently.
Denso has decided to establish the new company for research and advanced development of in-vehicle semiconductors and will establish a stronger system for R&D of semiconductors. The company has agreed to accept equity participation from Toyota for the new company to accelerate the speed of development by taking full advantage of Toyota's knowledge from a mobility viewpoint.
Through equity participation in the new company, Toyota will achieve further technology innovations by introducing cutting-edge semiconductor technologies from the planning phase when developing its mobility services and vehicles.
The new company will conduct advanced research on the basic structure and processing method of next-generation semiconductors and develop electronic components by implementing semiconductors, such as power modules for electric vehicles and periphery-monitoring sensors for automated vehicles, thereby contributing to creating the future of mobility.
In June 2018, Denso and Toyota agreed to consolidate the development and production of electronic components to the supplier. Based on this agreement, they have been working to achieve a speedy and competitive production and development system.
The two companies also banded together with another Toyota Group supplier, Aisin Seiki, to set up a development centre for autonomous driving in Tokyo in March of last year, called the Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development, or TRI-AD.
Toyota is also partnering with Suzuki to share the development of autonomous vehicles, with both carmakers sharing the costs associated with this push.