Japanese air conditioning manufacturer Daikin Industrial is turning to custom semiconductors to save energy, and the company is increasingly looking to custom chip designs.
Osaka-based Daikin expects to produce 10 million home air conditioners this fiscal year, according to Reuters. The company said it is working with a Japanese design firm to customize logic chips for inverters used in its air conditioners.
The inverter can adjust the speed of the air conditioning motor to save energy. A Daikin executive said the custom chip, which will be produced by TSMC, costs more than off-the-shelf alternatives but offers better energy efficiency and can reduce the use of other components.
Daikin plans to introduce the custom chip in high-end air conditioners starting in 2025 and plans to use it in about one-fifth of its air conditioning units by the end of the century.
Daikin, which developed Japan's first combined air conditioner in 1951, is also developing customized power modules to help manage the air conditioner's power supply. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of air conditioners worldwide is expected to more than triple to 5.6 billion units by 2050.
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