Silicon's Growing Role in Hybrid-Electric Cars

Excerpt from longer interview with Infineon president and CEO Wolfgang Ziebart reveals the surprising amount of silicon wafer that goes into the average hybrid vehicle.

Published: 07-Jan-2007

Wolfgang Ziebart, president and CEO of Infineon, sat down with Electronic News and Electronic Business to discuss the company's new business focus, where it sees growth opportunities and what life is like without the DRAM business. What follows are excerpts of that conversation.

Q: Now that Infineon has spun off everything except its logic business, what has changed in terms of how the company goes to market and who its customers are?
Ziebart: The separation from the memory business gives us a very good opportunity to sharpen the profile of Infineon. In former times, Infineon was an IDM (integrated device manufacturer) covering many different segments of the market from commodities to ASICs and was very focused on the fab and the execution of Moore's Law.

Q: So how has the company changed?
Ziebart: The company going forward will focus on three major demands of society. The first and most important one is the need for energy conservation. That is actually three different areas. The first is energy conservation. The second is efficient energy transmission. The third is saving in energy consumption. Energy conservation is all about semiconductors and solar panels. The average person only sees the solar panel, but what's behind that includes very sophisticated electronics that convert a varying input into an output of a given voltage and phase.


Smaller cars and more hybrids are emerging trends among carmakers, both foreign and domestic, including the introduction this year in North America of the Toyota Yaris, pictured below.

SuperFast Pizza has chosen the Chrysler Sprinter which will be the first to offer plug-in hybrid technology giving the company's rolling pizza vans the ability to be pollution-free and neighborhood friendly.

Reflex features an advanced diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system that harnesses diesel, electric and solar power. This combination of power can deliver maximum fuel economy - up to 65 mpg - without compromising performance.


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