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Components | May 28, 2012

Infineon ships two billionth sensor chip

Infineon ships two billionth sensor chip, putting it up with the world market leaders for sensors used in Automotive and Industrial applications.

Infineon believes itself to be the world market leader in sensors for example for pressure sensors used in side airbag systems and for magnetic sensors used for wheel speed measurement in anti-lock braking systems, enjoying market shares of around 50 percent. In 2011, some 75 million vehicles were produced worldwide, around 20 million of these in Europe alone. Even today, Infineon delivers around four out of the some 20 magnetic and pressure sensors deployed on average in every new vehicle. This figure does not even include sensors used for tire pressure monitoring. Infineon is one of the few semiconductor manufacturers, whose sensor chips are represented in virtually all of the estimated 80 sensor applications in a vehicle, e.g. in safety, in the powertrain as well as in the body and convenience electronics. The company’s magnetic sensors are used for example in the electronic power steering, the gearbox control and in convenience functions such as electric windows. “One of our key areas in sensor innovation is the combination of the sensing element with signal processing on one piece of silicon, thus making our sensors increasingly more reliable,” said Frank Findeis, Marketing Director, Integrated Sensors at Infineon Technologies AG. “In conjunction with our wealth of experience and high level of quality, this makes us the sensor partner of choice for automotive and industrial electronics.” In the field of magnetic sensors, besides the Hall effect technology, magneto-resistive technologies are also gaining in significance, which include GMR (giant magneto-resistive resistance), AMR (anisotropic magneto resistance) and TMR (tunnelling magneto resistance) technologies. Infineon masters all of these. “Mastering the use of nickel-iron alloys, for example, in the manufacturing process of the integrated sensors, equates in fact to a small technological revolution similar to the introduction of copper metallization in the semiconductor manufacturing process,” said Frank Findeis. “The fact that we have succeeded here with our sensors is testimony of Infineon’s exceptional innovative energy.”
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