Hon Hai to set up semiconductor design center in Taiwan’s biggest city

Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Industry Precision Co. has decided to set up a semiconductor design center in a smart industrial park located in Taiwan’s most populous city, New Taipei, as part of its efforts to develop electric vehicles (EV).

iPhone assembler Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn globally, said it will open a semiconductor design center in the Baogao Science and Intellectual Park in the city’s Xindian District to develop software used in self-driving, smart connectivity and smart cabins for EV production.

In an initial phase, Hon Hai said it will hire no less than 250 software engineers for the semiconductor design center under its three-year 1,000-person recruitment program for semiconductor research and development.

Market analysts said Hon Hai is expected to build an EV cluster in New Taipei by taking advantage of the new investment in the Xindian industrial park.

The industrial park is close to Foxtron Vehicle Technologies Co., a joint venture between Hon Hai and Taiwan carmaker Yulon Group to push for EV development.

Through the joint venture, Hon Hai is promoting an MIH Open Platform as the company aims to build it as the “Android of the electric car industry” as part of its efforts to penetrate the global electric vehicle market.

According to the Economic Development Department of the New Taipei Government, Hon Hai was among the six companies which won a bid to enter the Xindian smart industrial park, and the six are expected to bring in about NT$1.6 billion (US$57.55 million) in investments.

The department said the city government will soon sign agreements with the six companies for their investments and these companies are expected to start operations in the 4.2 hectare-industrial park in three months.

The department added it has no immediate information about how much Hon Hai will pour into its new R&D site before the contract with the company is signed.

According to the department, Hon Hai will use the Baogao industrial park as a base for next generation smart EV development.

In recent years, Hon Hai has intensified efforts to carry out its “3 plus 3” initiative, designed to diversify its product mix, boost profit margins and transform itself from a pure contract electronics manufacturer into a company which is able to integrate its hardware and software strength.

The “3 plus 3” initiative refers to three emerging industries — EVs, robotics and digital health care — that are being developed through the application of artificial intelligence, semiconductor and communication technologies. EVs have become the critical part of the initiative.

Hon Hai has its own 8-inch wafer lab, and it acquired a 6-inch wafer fab from Macronix International Co. in August. The newly acquired plant is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2022.

On Oct. 18, Hon Hai unveiled three self-developed EV models — the Model C sports utility vehicle, the flagship Model E passenger car, and the Model T electric bus — Foxtron.

SUVs based on the Model C prototype will hit the market in 2023 at the earliest, and passenger cars based on the Model E, which was jointly developed with Italian car designer Pininfarina, will follow, according to Hon Hai Chairman Liu Young-way (???).

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel