Samsung Electronics Lands Significant Foundry Order from Mobileye

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Samsung Electronics will produce advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) chips for Mobileye, a world-class semiconductor developer for self-driving cars. ADAS chips are a key component responsible for preventing front collisions, maintaining lanes, and processing smart cruise control functions.

Samsung Electronics’ Foundry Division has decided to produce some quantities of the EyeQ product group, flagship semiconductor manufacturer of Mobileye, according to industry sources on April 2. EyeQ is installed in a car in system-on-chip (SoC) form and supports ADAS and autonomous driving technologies. Mobileye currently sells the EyeQ 4, 5, and 6 series and Ultra models. Samsung Electronics is known to have won orders for model 5 series or lower produced in a process of 7 to 28 nanometers.

Mobileye is a world-class fabless company specializing in self-driving chips and it occupies about 70 percent of the camera-based ADAS chip market. It was founded in Israel in 1999 and was acquired by Intel in 2017 for US$15.3 billion (about 20 trillion won). It was listed on the NASDAQ market in October 2022. Its current market capitalization stands at US$33.4 billion.

Mobileye focuses on design without having a factory, so it outsources production. Until now, Taiwan’s TSMC has mainly been responsible for production of the EyeQ series.

Samsung Electronics has a track record of producing semiconductors for global autonomous driving companies. Since 2019, the Korean semiconductor giant has produced Tesla’s third-generation full self-driving (FSD) chips via a 14-nm process. It was also in charge of producing 4th-generation FSD chips via an 8-nm process. It is competing with TSMC to land an order for next-generation chips from Tesla.

In February, Samsung Electronics signed a contract with Ambarella, a company specializing in autonomous driving, to produce the ADAS chip CV3-AD685 in a cutting-edge 5-nm process. This chip acts as the brain of an autonomous vehicle by self-determining and controlling driving situation information coming in from cameras and radar sensors. “The CV3-AD685 chip’s artificial intelligence (AI) performance has improved more than 20 times,” a Samsung Electronics official explained.

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