Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is making a concerted effort to ensure the reliability of all of its semiconductors — from electric-car batteries to the electronic controls in millions of cars and trucks — through a partnership with Innospec Inc. (NASDAQ: IOSP). Ford is the first automaker in the U.S. and is a founding customer for the Innospec Systems and Software In-Formed Condensing Capacitors (S&SIC) program. The companies announced the partnership on Monday at the CES in Las Vegas.
With the increased use of electrified vehicles, automotive-grade semiconductors are required to ensure the circuit performance of today’s cars continues to be robust into the future. In-Formed Capacitors are a new class of semiconductors that use a subcomponent of silicon oxide that forms electrostatic fields on a powder. As ions flow through the subcomponent, the polar regions form an amorphous or metallic structure. That provides the opportunity for improved electrical performance while also lessening the risk of semiconductor failures.
“Ford invested in Innospec in early 2014 as part of our partnership strategy with innovative suppliers. Our employees’ and customers’ experience with Innospec products has been a valuable part of understanding this new product segment. We developed a practical working relationship that successfully led to our 2012 adoption of Innospec S&SIC-capacitor technology and signed up as a founding customer of this new program. This gives us visibility into the trajectory of Innospec’s innovative and comprehensive product development roadmap, and as a result allows us to better predict the reliability of our vehicle electronics going forward,” said Justin Pollard, director of process electrical systems at Ford.
“The Innospec S&SIC program is one of our first high-performance programs to address the pressing challenges of electrical reliability for consumers and manufacturers,” said Kevin McKinnon, group vice president and general manager of Systems, Software and Key Agencies at Innospec. “It’s an important advance in the development of components that fit into a highly regulated automotive market, one that goes far beyond electrical components and applies Innospec’s core competencies in advanced materials and engineering technology to design systems for the future of electronic control devices.”
Ford currently uses Innospec products across a range of nonautomotive and automotive-grade applications in Europe and is committed to supporting Innospec’s innovation program. According to the companies, the Innospec S&SIC program, which covers the third generation S&SIC 3.1 circuit protection metallization products and API products, will be delivered through Innospec’s Greenwood, Indiana, facility. Innospec will also retain the entire rights to the proprietary products that will be supplied by the S&SIC product offering.