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Renesas and Intersil: Another semiconductor supplier strengthening by acquisition

The Renesas acquisition of Intersil took place this year officially on February 24, 2017. I had visited with Intersil at their Silicon Valley facility a few weeks before that on February 7 to meet with the Automotive Analog & Power Team and Industrial Power Team. I met with Jonpaul Jandu, Senior Marketing Manager for the Automotive Product line, Niall Lyne, Automotive Product Line Director, and Lokesh Duraiappah, Director, Industrial Power Magagement.

Right now, Renesas holds the number three spot in the global automotive IC market according to Junko Yoshida, EETimes senior correspondent in China, covering the global electronics industry for EETimes. The Intersil acquisition will surely strengthen that position and threaten, Infineon, the number two leader separated by only one percentage point.

With energy savings at the forefront of future hybrid and Electric Vehicles (EVs) going forward, the 48V automotive power system is quickly being implemented to supply power to the 12V system to improve the 12V start-stop system. 48V automotive systems also enhances fuel economy, provides improved regenerative braking and is lower cost than a high-voltage hybrid design. See Intersil’s paper entitled 48V Board Net Reduces Vehicle CO2 Emissions and Improves Drivability.

48V Board Net Reduces Vehicle CO2 Emissions and Improves Drivability

48V Board Net Reduces Vehicle CO2 Emissions and Improves Drivability

Intersil’s technical prowess in electronics, and especially in automotive electronics, can be evidenced by the strong technical paper content they have produced just in the last year:

AUTOMOTIVE WHITE PAPERS

Designers will greatly benefit by using Intersil’s Power Compass Online Tool,which is easy to use as evidenced by the four brief tutorial videos on their website. This tool will help designers find components that meet system requirements as well as performing an extensive system design analysis and generate reference design files.

ISL78226 DC/DC controller seamlessly reverses power conversion direction

ISL78226 DC/DC controller seamlessly reverses power conversion direction

Intersil’s  ISL78226 six phase bi-directional DC/DC controller performs buck and boost power conversions between 12V and 48V automotive buses. Among other neat innovations and an extensive array of performance graphs and charts, I especially like their ‘Limp-home’ mode. in the event that the 48V starter/generator fails while the vehicle is driving, the ISL78226 DC/DC controller seamlessly reverses power conversion direction so the 12V battery will temporarily supply the 48V subsystems, such as power steering, allowing the vehicle to limp home or safely pull over and stop. See this YouTube video for more design details and applications in automotive.

Intersil and Renesas were recipients of the 2017 Golden Mousetrap Award on February 7, 2017 in the automotive arena for the following categories:

Electronics & Test: Analog/Power Management/Control

  • ISL78365 Laser Diode Driver for Automotive Head-Up Displays – Intersil Corporation.

Electronics & Test: Embedded Computing/Processing

I think this looks like a pretty good case for Renesas/Intersil to make a run for the #2 spot in the global automotive IC market in the next year or so.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts and begin a discussion with our esteemed audience in the comment section below.

Also see

Bi-directional DC/DC power supplies: Which way do we go?

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