The world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, Foxconn, is making a conscious effort to transition beyond pure manufacturing. It is promoting a '3 plus 3' initiative, pivoting to three emerging industries -- EVs, robots and digital healthcare. The development of electric vehicles is central to that initiative, as it is building an EV supply chain.
And as part of those efforts, the Taiwan-based manufacturing giant has decided to set up a semiconductor design centre.
Foxconn, known as Hon Hai in its home country, will open the semiconductor design centre in New Taipei city to develop software used in self-driving, smart connectivity and smart cabins for EV production.
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The new design centre will come up in an industrial park situated close to Foxtron Vehicle Technologies, a joint venture between Foxconn and Taiwanese automaker Yulon Group.
In the initial phase, Foxconn said it will hire around 250 software engineers for the semiconductor design center under its three-year 1,000-person recruitment program for semiconductor research and development.
Foxconn is promoting an MIH Open Platform, which the company hopes to develop as the “Android of the electric car industry”. So far, more than 1,600 firms worldwide have joined the platform that provides solutions to EV developers.
Foxconn recently signed an MoU with electric scooter brand Gogoro to help accelerate the latter’s expansion plans in markets like India and China. The company enterered the EV segment, has also unveiled three self-developed EV models --- sedan, SUV and bus.
The SUV, based on the Model C prototype is expected to hit the market in 2023, and the sedan based on the Model E, which was jointly developed with Italian car designer Pininfarina, will follow. The bus will start running in several cities in southern Taiwan next year in a tie-up with a local transport services company.
Foxconn and its semiconductor focus
According to Foxconn, semiconductors will play a crucial role in the company’s ventures as part of its '3 plus 3' initiative, and it has driven the company to acquire foundries.
Foxconn has its own 8-inch wafer lab, and it acquired a 6-inch wafer fab from Macronix International in August. The newly acquired plant is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2022.
Foxconn has also signed a 7-year deal with electric carmaker Fisker Inc to develop and manufacture a new EV. The EV will go into production by late 2023 and will be sold in North America, Europe, India, and China.
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Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.