Autoliv Selects Infineon Automotive Power Semiconductors for Innovative Seatbelt Pretension Systems
Stockholm, Sweden and Neubiberg, Germany – Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV and SSE: ALIVsdb) and Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) today announced that Autoliv has selected Infineon as sole supplier of power semiconductors for its next-generation seatbelt pretension systems, called Active Seatbelts. The Infineon power chip, capable of controlling an electrical motor with a relatively high current for a very short period of time, is a member of the NovalithIC™ family recently launched in volume quantities. Autoliv, the world’s largest automotive safety system supplier, uses an electrical motor and electronics to improve occupant safety by starting to tighten the seatbelt a few milliseconds before an imminent crash. Infineon’s chip has a crucial role in controlling and powering the electrical motor. Autoliv is ramping up production of these active seatbelt systems which are currently used in premium cars.
Innovative Active Seatbelts for added safety and comfort in cars
Autoliv’s Active Seatbelts use a small motor device containing the Infineon NovalithIC power chip, which enables additional safety and comfort features in cars. For instance, if a collision is anticipated, an occupant’s seatbelt will be automatically tightened to remove any existing belt slack before a collision, thereby reducing the risk for rib fractures and other injuries. Autoliv’s innovative seatbelt pretension system has the capability to adapt the restraint force to the severity of the crash and weight of the occupant. The seatbelt pretensioners also facilitate buckling up and improve comfort by softly tightening the seatbelt when buckling up. Finally, unlike regular pyrotechnic seatbelt pretensioners, Active Seatbelts can be tightened to minimize the G-forces when driving through curves.
“The combination of our many years of experience in innovative safety systems and Infineon’s expertise in semiconductors has resulted in this new approach for Active Seatbelt pretension systems,” said Steve Rode, President of Autoliv Electronics. “We selected Infineon, which has been a supplier to us for many years, because of Infineon’s continuous focus on high quality level automotive solutions.”
“Automotive safety electronics is a key area for Infineon. Our automotive chips support the European Union’s goals to cut the number of traffic accidents in half by 2010. It is Infineon’s objective to provide more intelligent automotive chips to help make cars safer, more convenient and more energy efficient,” said Claus Geisler, Senior Vice President and General Manager at the Automotive division of Infineon Technologies. “Our NovalithICs combine our core competencies in automotive power chip technologies with the latest advanced assembly technologies using chip-on-chip and chip-by-chip schemes.”
Up to 70 small motors in a car using power chips
On average, a mid-range car today contains about 40 to 50 small motors used to change the position of various features in the car including a driver’s wheel, seats, window-lifts and sun roof. In the premium car segment, there are about 70 motors per car. According to the May 2008 report of the market research company Strategy Analytics, Infineon is the world’s second largest and Europe’s largest provider of automotive semiconductors with a global market share of 9.4 percent of the total USD 19.3 billion automotive semiconductor market in the 2007 calendar year. Autoliv accounts for more than a third of the global seatbelt market. Last year, the company sold more than 110 million seatbelt systems. Almost half of them had regular non-reversible pyrotechnic pretensioners that tighten the belt at the onset of a crash.
Technical information on NovalithIC
The NovalithIC combines three integrated circuits - two power chips and one logic circuit to control and monitor the power stage – in one small package of approximately 1 square centimeter in size, using the latest chip-by-chip as well as chip-on-chip technologies. The NovalithIC family provides a fully integrated high current half-bridge for motor drive applications. The devices cut by half the space needed on a printed circuit board for power electronics driving motor applications with industry leading currents of up to 70 Ampere (A). Power output varies continuously depending on application need – a feature that slashes energy consumption by as much as 80 percent. As the on-state resistance is typically just 16 mOhm and the quiescent current just 7 µA the device is very energy efficient. Available in lead-free (green) packages, NovalithICs serve a broad range of applications, from smaller motors such as fuel pumps and windshield wiper drives in automobiles to more power-hungry equipment such as drills, air-conditioning systems and engine cooling fans. The NovalithICs in Autoliv’s Active Seatbelts are lead-free.
Further information on Infineon’s automotive power semiconductors and NovalithIC chips is available at: www.infineon.com/automotivepower and www.infineon.com/novalithic and also in our podcast at: www.infineon.com/podcast
Further information on Autoliv’s Active Seatbelts systems is available at www.autoliv.com/whatwedo/seatbelts/activeseatbelts
Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Together with its joint ventures, Autoliv has more than 80 facilities with approximately 43,000 employees in 32 vehicle-producing countries. In addition, the Company has technical centers in 12 countries around the world, including 21 test tracks, more than any other automotive safety supplier. Sales in 2007 amounted to US $6.8 billion. The Company’s shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ALV) and its Swedish Depository Receipts on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (SSE: ALIV). Further information is available at www.autoliv.com
Press contact at Autoliv: Mats Ödman, Phone: +46 8 587 20 623, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, communications, and security. In the 2007 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 7.7 billion (including Qimonda sales of Euro 3.6 billion) with approximately 43,000 employees worldwide (including approximately 13,500 Qimonda employees). With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at http://www.infineon.com
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