TOKYO -- Renesas Electronics will outsource all of its automotive microcontroller production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as it seeks to cut costly outlays on chipmaking machinery and concentrate on the development of software and semiconductors.
Renesas will phase out automotive microcontroller production at its facilities, starting with its 28-nanometer circuit chips, which have triple the processing power of the existing 40nm variety. Recent advances in autonomous driving technologies have greatly increased demand for such low-power, high-performance microcontrollers.
Through the arrangement, Renesas will be able to cut manufacturing costs, while TSMC can make use of its older, fully depreciated equipment to create the 28nm microcontrollers. TSMC operates machinery capable of producing 10nm chips for use in products such as smartphones, but the 28nm microcontrollers can be made using equipment that are two to three generations older.
Renesas began shipping samples of its 28nm microcontrollers to customers such as Denso this month. The Japanese company aims to begin mass production in 2020 at TSMC as they are increasingly adopted into new vehicles.