Hanwha Systems Co., a major defense contractor in South Korea, has joined hands with vehicle-related sensor manufacturer Truwin Co. to produce automotive sensors and chips to support autonomous driving technology.
Hanwha Systems said in a disclosure Wednesday that it signed an agreement with Truwin at Hanwha headquarters in Jung District in central Seoul to set up a 36 billion won ($30.7 million) joint venture to develop and produce automotive sensors, including infrared sensors, a key component of Night Vision technology for self-driving cars and other micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) automotive chips. The joint venture will be held 51 percent by Hanwha Systems and 49 percent by Truwin.
Truwin said in a separate filing that it acquired 240,000 shares in its subsidiary tentatively named HST Co. for 12 billion won to set up the joint venture. The company said that it will invest 5.7 billion won in the new entity in October for new issues. Hanwha Systems will invest 18.3 billion won in November.
Hanwha Systems said that its investment in a small and mid-size company with outstanding technical skills will help accelerate its Night Vision business. Truwin will be able to enhance its electric module, it said.
The joint venture that will be established within the year will build MEMS chip facilities and develop and produce advanced IR sensors and vehicle electric sensors.
MEMS chip fab will be built inside Truwin’s business site in Daejeon, with an aim to produce vehicle electric sensors starting 2023.
Long-distance IR sensors will be loaded to Night Vision system that is essential in self-driving vehicle identification. Other sensors applied to various vehicle components are EPS, IPS, and HTS.
Yoon Suk-eun, head of future technology business at Hanwha Systems, said that the company plans to prepare for next-generation electronics sector in line with explosive growth in electric vehicle market based on technology competitiveness and capacity of the two companies. The joint venture will lower the price of expensive IR sensors through innovative technology to open a new market for applications in vehicle Night Vision system and smartphones.
Shares of Hanwha Systems were up 1.92 percent at 18,550 won as of 12:25 p.m. on the main bourse Wednesday. Shares of Truwin were down 6.16 percent at 8,830 won on Kosdaq.
By Lee Eun-joo
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