The prominent auto industry supply firm Bosch is planning to invest ~$1.1 billion into a new facility to manufacture semiconductors for use in self-driving vehicles, “smart city” infrastructure, and “smart homes.”
This facility, to be based around Dresden, Germany, is supposed to begin commercial production sometime in 2021. Construction of the facility itself is expected to be finished sometime in 2019.
The idea is reportedly that the new facility will allow Bosch to remain a key supplier to the auto industry even as a large-scale shift to new mobility platforms and connected services begins. The company will of course have competition, but the new investment is presumably going to help it keep on the front end of the coming changes.
On that note, it’s probably worth remembering that Bosch has been involved in chip making for several decades now. So, there’s clearly already some production knowledge and proficiency present.
TechCrunch provides more: “The new plant will also supply chips that provide more traditional functionality to cars, including those that trigger airbag deployment and control instrument panel readings, as well as in-car cellular connectivity.
“Intel is also attempting to position itself as a key chip supplier in the world of autonomous vehicles, as is Qualcomm (aided by its purchase of NXP, though that’s currently being investigated by the EU prior to finalization). Bosch has been operating in this field for a long time, but the autonomous market is different, so it’ll be very interesting to see whether those coming from the computing side or those on the automotive end of the spectrum end up claiming a more dominant position in the market.”
With regard to Intel’s interest in the market, it should be remembered here that the tech giant recently agreed to purchase the Israel-based self-driving vehicle firm Mobileye for $15 billion, a record acquisition for an Israeli firm and a record acquisition in this market.
Image via Bosch
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