Toyota, Denso to launch semiconductor venture for future technology

©Kyodo News

Toyota Motor Corp. and its auto parts maker Denso Corp. said Tuesday they will set up a joint venture next April to develop semiconductors for next-generation technologies to be used in autonomous and electric vehicles.

The new company Mirise Technologies will conduct research and advanced development of in-vehicle semiconductors, which are believed to "play a key role in technology innovation for electric vehicles and automated driving vehicles," the two companies said in a statement.

The venture, planned to be headquartered in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture with about 500 employees, will seek cooperation with universities, research institutes and startups while recruiting semiconductor engineers, they said.

The new company will be capitalized at 50 million yen ($460,000), with Denso holding a 51 percent stake and Toyota taking the remainder. Yoshifumi Kato, currently a Denso senior executive officer, will become its president.

Amid intensifying competition to develop auto parts for next-generation vehicles, Hitachi Ltd. and Honda Motor Co. said in October they will merge four auto parts suppliers under a new firm to respond to the emergence of autonomous and electric cars.

Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. also said earlier this month that they agreed to set up a new company to jointly develop advanced technologies for next-generation vehicles with a focus on studying artificial intelligence.