□ DGIST (Kuk Yang, President), Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials Co., Ltd. (Dongrak Choi, CEO), and Kwangwoo Co., Ltd. (Sanghong Suh, CEO) held a business agreement ceremony for mass production and commercialization of micro magnetic sensors. This ceremony initiated the overseas marketing entrance of micro magnetoresistance sensors that have been localized through DGIST’s original technology, commercial sensors supplied by Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials Co., Ltd., and product application by Kwangwoo Co., Ltd.
□ Micro magnetoresistance sensors are used in electric vehicles, current control designs, GPS systems, encoders, and biodiagnostics. Since the 1990s, Spintronics high-sensitivity magnetoresistance sensors have been developed competitively worldwide. Currently, several companies in Germany, Japan, and the U.S. are dominating production.
□ Micro magnetoresistance sensors can now be developed and manufactured through localized technology according to this agreement, thus securing competitiveness in the global market, which has been dominated by foreign companies. The technology that is the foundation of this business agreement is “magnetic multilayer planar hall magnetoresistance technology” developed at DGIST’s Magnetics Initiative Life Care Research Center (Cheolgi Kim, Director). This technology involves an exchange bond adjustment between multiple layers for improving the measurement sensitivity of fine magnetic fields.
□ Professor Cheolgi Kim, who has patents of this technology in Korea and overseas, transferred the technology to Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials Co., Ltd. in 2020. With the support of funding support (9.6 billion KRW for four years) from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and consultation from Professor Kim, Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials built the production facility for “magnetic multilayer deposition equipment and micro device manufacturing” and successfully developed the product model for a magnetoresistance sensor.
□ In addition, Kwangwoo Co., Ltd. produced the encoder module mounted with this sensor and successfully passed the performance evaluation in the second half of 2022. Subsequently, micro magnetoresistance sensors and applied products were finally localized, allowing encoder module production—which was dependent on imports—to advance using localized technology. Thus, the grounds for entering the global market were established with a demonstration of excellent performance and price competitiveness.
□ Professor Kim of DGIST said, “Successful localization of magnetic sensors is the first outcome of the Spintronics research to which more than 100 billion KRW have been invested since the late 1990s. A high-sensitivity magnetic sensor module, which was entirely imported, can now be produced through the localized module for the production of automobiles, GPS systems, and various electronic products. I hope we have embarked on the path to enter the global sensor market worth 2.38 billion USD (as of 2020, annual growth rate of 6.51%) based on the performance and price competitiveness of our technology.”
□ Taewan Kim, the head of the Development Division at Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials, noted, “High-sensitivity magnetic sensors were first developed to be applied to automobiles. From our successful experience with localization, we plan on expanding the application range to electric vehicles, robots, and aviation, which have more than three billion demands[jc1] in the global market.”
□ Woongsun Eo, the director of Kwangwoo Co., Ltd., said, “The recently developed product has been applied in a wide range of areas, such as CNC machining equipment, milling machines, drilling machines, and grinding machines. We expect this product to become a core element in the electrical/electronics field that can contribute to heightening national competitiveness in high value-added industries by being able to apply the developer encoder in robotic, national defense, and medical industries requiring ultra-precision machining.”
□ Spintronics sensor technology, the product’s core technology, was developed and enhanced for performance by the research team led by Professor Kim from DGIST, with support from NRF (leading research center support project) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (material and part development project). Electric Vehicle Advanced Materials Co., Ltd., to whom the technology has been transferred, will be launching the mass-produced products of magnetic sensors for encoders beginning in the second half of 2023. Kwangwoo Co., Ltd. has developed a localized encoder module that uses the respective magnetic sensor and plans to launch the product in domestic and overseas markets in the second half of 2023.
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