Stellantis and Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn have announced the formation of SiliconAuto, an equally owned joint venture for the development and sale of advanced semiconductors, particularly for electric vehicles.
SiliconAuto will be headquartered in the Netherlands and is expected to supply the automotive industry, including Stellantis and Foxconn, from 2026. The management team consists of executives from both founding partners. The joint venture is the result of an agreement signed in December 2021 between Stellantis and Foxconn to develop the semiconductor family for automotive applications, the partners say. Another joint venture between the two sides, called Mobile Drive, is working on the development of intelligent cockpits in parallel.
SiliconAuto is intended by the two parent companies to become the semiconductor source for the growing number of computer-controlled functions and modules in cars, especially those needed in electric vehicles. No further details about the chips are given in an accompanying memo. It simply states that they will be “tailor-made for the automotive industry’s new generation of vehicle platforms” and will be ready for delivery in 2026.
Foxconn is to contribute development capacity and know-how to the joint venture, Stellantis its “deep understanding of different mobility needs around the world”. In addition, the multi-brand conglomerate is to help SiliconAuto develop and deliver the capabilities needed for future battery-electric vehicles and multi-energy vehicle platforms.
Through SiliconAuto, Stellantis and Foxconn intend to meet their future semiconductor needs, but also seek third-party commercialisation. Specifically mentioned is use in Stellantis’ STLA Brain, a new software and electrical/electronic architecture from Stellantis with options for over-the-air upgrades. It is already known that Stellantis wants to bring further services into the car through cooperations with providers such as Foxconn and Amazon.
Among the new AI-based assistance functions to be introduced in Stellantis models in the future is “steer-by-wire”: the steering wheel with mechanical connection to the front wheels will be replaced by a “steer-by-wire” concept operated via a “hypersquare control” in which digital electrical controls replace mechanical connection elements.
Foxconn unveiled three electric vehicles based on its MIH platform in 2022 and has announced more. The Taiwanese company also already has vehicle production capacities in the USA. In Lordstown, Ohio, they have taken over the former GM plant of Lordstown Motors. Since September, the Lordstown Endurance has been built there by Foxconn. The Fisker Pear is also to be produced at the plant from 2024. Foxconn is pursuing further factory plans in Saudi Arabia and Thailand, among other places. Just earlier this year, Foxconn also announced a cooperation with Infineon in the field of SiC components for electric cars.