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© infineon PCB | November 26, 2014

Infineon acquires stake in Schweizer Electronic

The semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies will acquire a 9.4 percent stake of PCB manufacturer Schweizer Electronic. The relevant contracts were concluded today (26-11-2014).
By investing into Schweizer, Infineon emphasises its intention to jointly develop technologies for the integration of power semiconductors into PCBs and to tap the chip embedding market for high-power automotive and industrial applications. Schweizer’s chip embedding technology will round out Infineon’s proprietary chip embedding packaging technology BLADE, used for example for direct current supply (DC/DC conversion) that is necessary for processors in computer and telecommunications systems.

Chip embedding yields advantages

While PCBs have chips connected to their front and backside today, chip embedding will permit in the future that the semiconductors can be “embedded” in the inside of the PCB. The PCB will become smaller. This will benefit systems in vehicles, for which there is only little space available such as the electric power steering system, active suspension or electrical pumps. Moreover, the cooling of the chips will be improved. The heat created by the chips is dissipated directly via the PCB. This is particularly beneficial in applications that require high power and whose power semiconductors needed elaborate cooling until now. These are for example the compressors in a vehicle air-conditioning system, where electrical power may reach up to 2 kilowatts (kW). In addition, the automotive industry expects the 48-volt network to gain importance besides the already present 12-volt on-board network. Since higher electrical power can be used this way, it will be easier to expand hybrid functionality (“eTurbo” with 5kW up to 20kW) to vehicles of lower and medium price segments as well. This is where chip embedding can help.

Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, says: “We improve the performance and energy efficiency of vehicles and industrial applications with system competence and the use of highly innovative technologies. Our shareholding in Schweizer Electronic AG supports us on the road from product thinking to system understanding. Chip embedding yields a great added value for our customers, as their systems become more compact and even more efficient at the same time.”

Dr. Marc Schweizer, CEO of Schweizer Electronic AG, explains: “System boundaries between PCBs and semiconductors are going to change, and this requires new business models. We are expecting a high growth potential here in a few years. Infineon is the technology leader for power semiconductors and Schweizer is a leading manufacturer of high-performance printed circuit boards in the automotive and industrial segments. Owing to their excellent market positions and good customer relations, our two companies are a very good fit. We have already proven this to be the case by our jointly developed demonstrators for tailor-made customer solutions.”

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