Infineon is the first semiconductor maker to sign an MoU with the European Commission to advance the development of intelligent emergency call systems
Neubiberg, Germany – April 9, 2008 – With the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), Infineon Technologies has become the first semiconductor maker to pledge its full support for a European Commission automotive safety initiative. The move adds momentum to eCall, a pan-European proposal launched by the Commission with the goal of encouraging EU member states as well as automakers, mobile operators, service businesses and automotive supply businesses to collaborate on the development of an integrated, automatic accident alert system for automobiles. The European Commission hopes that eCall will radically lower the number of accident victims in Europe – 41,000 in 2007 – and help to bring down accident-related costs from the €180 billion reported last year.
An eCall system records data from key safety components in a car (the airbags, rollover sensors, etc.) via a CAN interface and, in the event of an accident, transmits this data to an emergency call center along with location information supplied by a GPS navigation module. This enables an appropriate emergency response to the accident situation to be mounted without delay. The eCall system automatically converts the information into plain text for display on screens in the emergency call center, eliminating possible comprehension issues as well as problems stemming from inaccurate location information.
Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, President and CEO of Infineon Technologies, commented as follows on the signing of the MOU: “With our competency in semiconductor solutions for automobiles as well as communications, I believe that Infineon is in an outstanding position to be ready to begin volume production for Europe’s eCall emergency call system according to plan, within the two-year timeframe. We’re already shipping initial samples to partners in the automotive industry for large-scale field testing.”
The European emergency call system eCall is to be a standard feature on all new automobiles registered for road use in EU countries from September 2010. Each year, EU countries register around 20 million new cars.
Thanks to its “automotive excellence” and “0 Fault Tolerance” projects, which have led to the lowest failure rates of automotive products in the industry, Infineon heads Europe’s market for automotive electronics. The company is also a market leader in solutions for the communications sector and currently supplies chips to all major mobile phone makers. With the eCall system, Infineon for the first time has comibined automotive electronics with communication electronics for the purpose of creating a safety solution. According to Strategy Analytics, an independent market research organization, around 5 million eCall systems will be shipped worldwide this year, and in six years’ time this figure will have increased almost eightfold – the equivalent of an annual growth rate of 35.7%.
More information on eCall is available in our Podcast at: www.infineon.com/podcast
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).