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Ford partners with semiconductor chip maker to tackle shortage

Ford's partnership with GlobalFoundries is meant to address the continuing semiconductor shortage affecting production for all U.S. car manufacturers. Shown here is the Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production model. Photo courtesy of Ford
Ford's partnership with GlobalFoundries is meant to address the continuing semiconductor shortage affecting production for all U.S. car manufacturers. Shown here is the Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production model. Photo courtesy of Ford

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Ford announced a partnership Thursday with a semiconductor manufacturer amid a shortage that is disrupting the auto industry.

Under the deal, GlobalFoundries will boost the supply of semiconductor chips for the Detroit auto maker and the two companies will conduct joint research and development to address the growing demand for the chips in the auto industry, Ford said in a press release.

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"Our agreement with Ford is a key step forward in strengthening our cooperation and partnership with automakers to spur innovation, bring new features to market faster, and ensure long-term, supply-demand balance," GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield said in the release.

A consulting firm predicted in September that the global semiconductor chip shortage will cost the auto industry $210 billion in revenue this year. North American factories have had to cut thousands of vehicles from production and idle some plants.

Semiconductors are used for a range of auto electronics, from powertrain control systems to advanced safety systems and in-car entertainment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for the chips, which are also used in personal electronics, such as laptops, as more people stayed home instead of going in to school or work.

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Ford said the new partnership also aims to develop chips for advanced driver-assist technologies, battery management systems and in-vehicle networking for future automated vehicles.

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