Ford and GlobalFoundries did not disclose any terms of the deal or whether Ford was providing funding or other commitments to reserve capacity at any of GlobalFoundries’ existing or future factories.
Ford outlines three categories of chips that it will research jointly with GlobalFoundries
Ford Motor Co. and chip maker GlobalFoundries Inc. said Thursday they plan to work together to boost supplies for the automaker’s vehicles and the broader US auto industry, but gave few details about the deal.
The two companies announced a non-binding agreement that could include increasing production capacity for Ford’s current lineup and conducting joint research and development on several categories of chips that could be important for future cars, such as Battery-management system and self-driving system
Over the past year, global chip shortages have caused Ford and other automakers to cut vehicle production. Most companies have directed the chips they receive to their most profitable vehicles. This has prompted automakers to look for ways to increase access to chips.
The majority-owned Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, GlobalFoundries, went public this year when it sold a stake in its business in an initial public offering for $26 billion. The company has said that some of the $2.6 billion raised in the deal will go toward building a second chip factory at a site in Malta, New York.
Ford and GlobalFoundries did not disclose any terms of the deal or whether Ford was providing funding or other commitments to reserve capacity at any of GlobalFoundries’ existing or future factories. The two merely stated that “strategic collaboration” does not involve any cross-ownership between the companies.
“We hope that Ford and GlobalFoundries will work together to increase our current vehicle lineup and supply in a more formal way to support our future needs,” Ford Vice President Chuck Gray said in an interview.
Gray said the No. 2 American automaker plans to get into the business of designing its own chips and having them manufactured by a partner. Some major automakers, such as Volkswagen, have said they plan to design their own self-driving chips.
Ford and GlobalFoundries said the research would be targeted at developing new chips and working with chip suppliers around that. Mike Hogan, senior vice president at GlobalFoundries, said the chips would be designed and developed under the direction of Ford and made in the United States.
Ford has outlined three categories of chips that it will research jointly with GlobalFoundries: autonomous driving chips, in-car data networking chips and battery management chips.
In May, Ford said it was redesigning parts to use more accessible chips and was also weighing other strategies, including signing supply deals directly with foundries that could be used in semiconductors. To make wafers.
On Thursday, Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley said the deal with GlobalFoundries is part of Ford’s plan to vertically integrate key technologies.
The market for self-driving chips is dominated by Nvidia Corp., Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., some of them using advanced chipmaking technology that GlobalFoundries is not currently able to produce.
Other categories of chips, such as networking and battery-management, are dominated by existing auto suppliers NXP, Marvell Technologies Inc and Analog Devices, many of which either manufacture their own chips or work with rivals GlobalFoundries.
For example, NXP has said it will use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s 5-nanometer process for future automotive chips, a capability that GlobalFoundries currently cannot match.
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