Infineon Technologies AG, the world's fourth largest semiconductor manufacturer, announced the launch of the Tianjin University-Infineon Automotive Electronics Joint Lab in Tianjin on Friday.
The facility, founded in conjunction with the State Key Lab of Engine and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Research Institute of Tianjin University, will concentrate on the research and development of engine electrical controls and technologies.
The Munich-based company has invested nearly 1 million yuan (US$124,069) into the basic construction of the lab.
According to the company, electronics technologies in cars have been the most effective way to improve the performances of vehicles.
Infineon predicts by 2010, the average content of electronics equipments in a vehicle will reach 35 per cent.
"The electronics technologies will be the key for the independent innovation of the car industry in China," said Pow Tien Tee, regional president and managing director of Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
"Moreover, it is an urgent problem for the car industry in China to figure out," he added.
Liu Ning, director of Tianjin Internal Combustion Engine Research Institute, said the car electronics segment had great potential in the country's car manufacturing industry.
"The main body for the innovation is the Chinese engine and car manufacturers. But on account of the fact they don't have the capability of being involved in too many areas of research, it is time for universities to supply the innovation," Liu told China Daily.
Infineon has more than 25 years of experience in the car industry.
"Last year, the automotive, industrial and multimarket department contributed 35 percent of revenue to Infineon's China business. And car electronics occupied 25 percent of it," David Lee, senior manager of the department, told China Daily.
Statistics from the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers show that China occupies one-third of the global car electronics market.
"In the coming three to five years, China will rank in the top two countries and it is quite possible to be the top one within 10 years," said Lee.
"Infineon will increase the investment in this segment to one-third of the whole of the automotive, industrial and multimarket department."
(China Daily April 29, 2006)