Japan Aircon King Daikin: Custom Chips for Energy Savings
Updated: Jan 5
[Edited] Daikin Industries, the renowned Japanese air conditioner manufacturer, is exploring the use of custom-made semiconductors to optimize energy efficiency in its products.
As companies increasingly turn to bespoke chip designs to enhance performance, Daikin aims to leverage custom chips to achieve energy savings.
While tech giants like Apple and Amazon invest heavily in custom cutting-edge chips, companies relying on legacy chips are also recognizing the benefits of introducing custom silicon. Daikin, based in Osaka, plans to collaborate with a Japanese design company to customize logic chips for the inverters used in their air conditioners.
Inverters play a crucial role in adjusting the speed of an air conditioner's motor to conserve energy. While they are standard in Japan and the European Union, they are less common in the United States. Daikin believes that custom chips, although more expensive than off-the-shelf alternatives, offer superior energy efficiency and enable a reduction in the use of other components.
Yuji Yoneda, the general manager of Daikin's technology and innovation center, emphasized the importance of improving chip performance to fully unleash the potential of an air conditioner's compressor and motor. He stated in an interview that without enhancing chip performance, there will be limitations.
Daikin plans to introduce these custom chips in high-end air conditioners starting from 2025 and aims to incorporate them into approximately 20% of their units by the end of the decade. Additionally, the company is also working on customized power modules that assist in managing the electricity supply of their air conditioners.
To facilitate the customization process, Daikin has been recruiting engineers from the chip industry. This move comes as the company faces competition due to significant investments in the domestic semiconductor industry.
Daikin anticipates that an increased focus on energy efficiency will propel their growth. The International Energy Agency predicts that the global demand for air conditioners will more than triple to 5.6 billion units by 2050. By prioritizing energy-saving technologies, Daikin aims to position itself as a leader in the industry.
Daikin Industries is exploring the use of custom-made semiconductors for energy savings in their air conditioners.
They plan to partner with a Japanese design company to customise logic chips for their air conditioner inverters.
The custom chips, manufactured by TSMC, offer better energy efficiency and reduce the need for other components.