Infineon buys Dutch firm in push to control driverless cars
The logo of semiconductor manufacturer Infineon is seen at its Austrian headquarters in Villach, Austria, August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
News and research before you hear about it on CNBC and others. Claim your 2-week free trial to StreetInsider Premium here.
By Eric Auchard
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Infineon Technologies AG
The German firm's head of its automotive business said on Tuesday the acquisition of Innoluce will help it drive down the cost of light detection and ranging sensors (lidar) for use in guidance systems for mass-market vehicles.
"We intend to make lidar an affordable feature for every new-built car worldwide," Peter Schiefer said in a statement.
Lidar employs laser beams to measure the distance to objects near a vehicle, enabling car control systems to identify road ways, traffic signs, pavement markings, and overhead bridges and other potential obstacles.
But early versions of the sensor devices developed by Silicon Valley-based firm Velodyne lidar that were used by Google in its self-driving car project cost $75,000 per vehicle.
Newer versions of lidar sensors cost just one-tenth of that price and Velodyne and rivals such as Quanergy are aiming to drive the cost down to hundreds of dollars per unit by miniaturizing the bulky roof-top devices.
Innoluce produces the micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) modules that incorporate tiny mirrors controlled by a computer chip that can be used to direct laser beams in the sensor systems.
Financial terms of the purchase of Innoluce, a spin-off from the electronics group Philips (NYSE: PHG), were not disclosed. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in Nijmegen, on the Dutch-German border.
Infineon's biggest rivals in the car market are also racing to develop chips to control and drive the sensors required for autonomous driving, including NXP (NASDAQ: NXPI) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM).
(Editing by Greg Mahlich)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Turkey says Russian planes attack Islamic State targets south of al-Bab
- Minneapolis Fed hopes new inclusive growth project will aid fiscal policies
- Teen shoots four, self at American school in northern Mexico
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Related EntitiesDefinitive Agreement
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!