Samsung Foundry has been manufacturing Infineon’s MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) since last year, TheElec has learned.
Samsung had been knocking at the German chip giant’s doorstep for a long time and this effort finally bore fruit last year, sources said. Infineon is the world leader in power management IC.
While the South Korean chipmaker is only contracted to produce general-purpose power management ICs as of yet, it is seeing more orders from the German chip giant, they added.
Samsung Foundry, Samsung’s contract chip-making business unit, while it is one of the leading firms in advanced nodes, it was considered lackluster in analog semiconductors like power management ICs.
Power management ICs, unlike logic chips, see performance drop from becoming smaller and are therefore made mostly with 90nm or higher legacy nodes.
Power management ICs are used in electric vehicles, smartphones, and other devices to convert, control and distribute electricity. It increases the lifespan of batteries and reduces power consumption.
MOSFET, a kinder of a discrete power management IC, has an insulator gate to reduce power consumption. It has high switching speed, low power, and high frequency but high resistance.
According to QY Research, the power management IC discrete market was worth US$35.28 billion last year and is expected to grow 8.2% on average per year up to 2029 to be worth US%61.3 billion. MOSFET accounted for 35% of the market in 2022.
Infineon gives out the fabrication work for its chips. It uses TSMC as the contract producer of its microcontroller unit and sensors.
However, as it gives only some contract work for its power management IC and mostly makes them on its own, giving the order for this task to Samsung Foundry means the Korean tech giant has competence in manufacturing chips with legacy nodes.
Sources said Samsung is likely to manufacture other power management ICs made by Infineon such as IGBT or power management ICs made with silicon carbide and gallium nitride.