The shortages of automotive chips and components have eased from the past few years, but the entire supply chain is expected to undergo restructuring in the next 1-2 years as the bullwhip effect still exists, according to tier-1 suppliers.
With software-defined vehicles (SDV) becoming a mainstream, major automotive chip IDM NXP Semiconductors will continue to promote the scalability and flexibility of its own chip platforms to satisfy diverse design needs of carmakers, according to company executives.
As SIC power chips are increasingly applied to EV inverters, many IDMs are not only expanding production capacity but also keenly launching products and solutions to meet robust market demand, according to industry sources.
Stereo vision, first utilized as far back as in the late 1800s, is now entering the autonomous driving space. Nodar, a Boston-based software company, is developing an algorithm to align camera measurement by software. Unlike the traditional practice of stereo vision that installs two cameras close together on a rigid metal beam to maintain alignment, Nodar's software can maintain alignment through signal processing when given fast GPU processors.
China-based Geely Technology, an affiliate of Geely Automobile, has recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement with domestic power chips foundry GTA Semiconductor to carry out comprehensive collaboration in the areas of auto-grade chips R&D, manufacturing, market applications and talent training, according to industry sources.
At its latest conference call on Feb 2, Infineon said its Aurix MCU family is "on full ramp mode," adding that having gotten more wafers, it expects availability of automotive MCUs to improve in the second half of 2023. The comment echoes what TSMC has previously stated.
Germany-based semiconductor IDM Infineon reported a sequential decline in revenue for the first quarter of FY2023 (quarter ended on Dec 30, 2022). The company cited weakening demand in consumer applications due to macroeconomic uncertainties, but said its capacities in the automotive division "are completely booked out for fiscal 2023."
While COVID-19 posed a great challenge for China's automotive industry last year, the country saw its new energy vehicle (NEV) market grow. According to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), China accounted for 63% of global NEV sales in 2022, maintaining a significant lead from Europe or North America.
US-based SiC and GaN technologies provider Wolfspeed announced on February 1 a plan to build its first SiC fab in Europe. The project, which aims to start construction this year, received a US$185 million investment from ZF Group, the leading automotive Tier-1 supplier.
International IDMs are entering a new wave of price competition for their auto-use mmWave radar chips solutions, which see increasing penetration as vehicles undergo electrification, according to industry sources.
With the popularization of automotive electronics, especially ADAS and L2+ self-driving, the mmWave radar has become a required sensory component - a rigid demand. With Tesla, which removed the mmWave radar from its vehicles two years ago, rumored to reintroduce the feature, demand for mmWave radar chips has continued to be strengthened.
Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, determined to transform its entire group, has been actively expanding to electric vehicle industry in recent years. Having made new changes to its business model, Foxconn has also recruited a large number of the industry's elites to shorten the time it needs to enter the industry as much as possible.