Chipmaker GlobalFoundries said on Tuesday it has partnered with automotive supplier Bosch to develop radar chips for self-driving features.
Under the deal, Santa Clara, California-based GlobalFoundries said it will make high-frequency radar chips for Bosch at the chipmaker's Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany. Radar chips are widely used in vehicles for driver-assistance features such as emergency braking, lane-keeping and parking assistance.
The radar chips are designed to operate at higher frequency than previous generations to help the radar detect objects farther away with greater accuracy than lower-frequency radar chips found on many current vehicles. They are not related to the chips currently in short supply that have caused manufacturing disruptions at automakers such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.
Rather than source the chips from a third-party company to put inside a radar module, Bosch is working directly with the chip contract manufacturer to have its own design custom made.
Mike Hogan, head of GlobalFoundries' automotive business, said traditional automotive suppliers are increasingly looking to work directly with chip factories to have custom silicon that will set their products apart from rivals.
"This is a great example of automotive going to the front of the technology bus and saying, 'I'm going to drive the performance I want from the very beginning,'" Hogan said.
GlobalFoundries said the chips are being targeted for delivery in the second half of 2021.
Bosch also makes some of its own chips. On Monday, the German supplier announced it was building its own factory to make ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit) microchips, also in Dresden.