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Electronics Production | April 28, 2009

Analog Devices and Infineon collaborate in Airbag Safety System

Analog Devices and Infineon Technologies have agreed to collaborate on the advancement of next-generation automotive airbag systems. The ADI-Infineon collaboration will ensure alignment of the companies’ respective product roadmaps and interoperability of their sensors and chipsets.
The collaboration will accelerate the development of advanced airbag systems and provide automotive safety system suppliers and OEMs access to a complete design platform that will enable a reliable, cost-efficient and easy-to-use advanced airbag solution.

ADI is the world’s leading pioneer of motion-sensing MEMS (micro-electromechanical system) inertial accelerometers and gyroscopes for automotive safety systems. Infineon provides nearly all automotive application-specific components for an airbag system, such as microcontrollers, satellite sensor communication interface ICs, airbag deployment ICs, power supply components, CAN and LIN transceivers and pressure sensors. By combining the companies’ airbag-specific product portfolios, Infineon and ADI can offer customers a complete, interoperable, and validated airbag system platform.

“In emerging car markets, such as Asia and South America, car manufacturers and system suppliers face the challenge of improving passenger safety while reducing cost. By aligning ADI’s and Infineon’s airbag-specific product roadmaps, we will trim interoperability risks, help cut system development costs, and enable carmakers and system suppliers to focus more of their development resources on crash algorithm development and product differentiation,” said Claus Geisler, senior vice president at the Automotive division of Infineon Technologies. “Our system expertise, with about four decades of experience in the automotive segment, allows Infineon to help our customers meet their key airbag system challenges. These challenges include further cost optimization, stringent quality requirements, and fulfilling future challenges in the safety market, such as supporting new standards and safety requirements.”

In recent studies, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 176 million air-bag-equipped passenger vehicles are on the road, including 164 million with dual airbags. Between 1987 and 2007, airbag deployment saved more than 25,000 lives. With this type of tremendous impact and considerable demand for a safer car, the semiconductor contents within safety systems is predicted to grow by a compound annual growth rate of nine percent (9%), according to experts. Demand for innovation and cost containment for automotive safety systems will continue into the foreseeable future.

“In response to today’s safety mandates, automotive safety systems require ever increasing levels of system performance to ensure they work properly and reliably for a wide range of passengers and vehicles” said Mark Martin, vice president and general manager, Micromachined Products Division, Analog Devices. “With over 15 years of experience in automotive MEMS and more than 500 million MEMS sensors shipped, ADI brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the design of safety systems. In cooperation with Infineon, the joint efforts will soon provide safety system suppliers and OEMs ‘one-stop shopping’ with a design platform that is easy to use where all the components interface flawlessly. This approach will save system designers a great deal of time and money and allow them to focus on properly integrating that system into vehicles, providing the safest car to consumers.”

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