BMW has announced it has secured a trilateral agreement with “high-tech” microchip manufacturer INOVA Semiconductors and “feature-rich” semiconductor foundry GlobalFoundries with will secure several million semiconductors per year.

The microchips will first be deployed in the BMW iX.

“We are deepening our partnership with suppliers at key points in the supplier network and synchronising our capacity planning directly with semiconductor manufacturers and developers. This improves planning reliability and transparency around the volumes needed for everyone involved and secures our needs for the long term,” said Dr Andreas Wendt, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for purchasing and supplier network. “This pioneering agreement marks the next logical step in securing our supplies in an even more balanced and proactive manner going forward.”

“The agreement guarantees the BMW Group the supply of several million microchips per year”

According to the German marque, “The agreement guarantees the BMW Group the supply of several million microchips per year. The microchips will be used in the ISELED smart LED technology co-developed by the BMW Group, which will be deployed for the first time in the BMW iX and rolled out in further models.”

The iX will arrive in SA in 2022.

“This agreement directly with an OEM certainly marks new territory for us as a semiconductor manufacturer,” said Robert Kraus, CEO of INOVA Semiconductors. “But we firmly believe this innovative approach to partnership throughout the production chain will help us achieve our objectives: In this way, we can secure supplies for our end customers and ensure high planning reliability throughout the long chip production cycles. It’s a real win-win.”

Mike Hogan, senior vice president and general manager of automotive, industrial and multi-market at GlobalFoundries added: “GlobalFoundries is committed to building stronger relationships with the automotive industry to deliver innovation and address the growing demand for feature-rich chips … This supply assurance agreement with the BMW Group and INOVA demonstrates how the companies are partnering to develop innovative smart LED technology for the new BMW iX and to develop new technologies for the car of tomorrow.”