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.
The Germany-based automotive semiconductor supplier reiterated the bifurcation of the semiconductor market where demand for semiconductors for automotive, renewables, and security remains robust while demand for consumer products are seeing cyclical slowdown and sluggish corporate spending on IT infrastructures.
According to Infineon, customers are now more willing to sign capacity reservation agreements or to place longer committed orders to secure semiconductor supply as e-mobility and ADAS keep trending up. OEMs now "have a strong tendency" to source strategic parts directly and strive for higher stock levels.
Catering for such demand, the company is ramping up selling rate to nearly one million pieces per day. For fiscal 2023, capacities for automotive products have been fully booked. The company pointed out that due to weak outlook for consumer market demand, it is able to shift some of the MOSFET capacities to produce for renewable energies and power infrastructures.
According to CEO Jochen Hanebeck's remarks at the conference call, Infineon is ramping up Aurix MCUs production at 28nm node, while 65nm to 40nm production reaches high volume but still needs more wafers.
Hanebeck stressed that Aurix MCUs are perfectly suitable for domain architectures, software-defined vehicles, and zonal controls. The company therefore forecasts a low adoption of low-end MPUs in cars going forward.
For ADAS components, it is transitioning radar technology from SiGe chips to CMOS-based solutions. Sales volume of 26nm CMOS imaging radar sensor IC has reached triple-digit million Euros.
The company has a resilient leading position in SiC semiconductor production. Applications include photovoltaic inverters, energy storage systems, and EV charging infrastructures are seeing "significant growth." It says its SiC capacities could grow tenfold by 2027 based on the capacity level of 2022, as the company's new fabs, Kulim 3, in Malaysia are expected to enter production around mid-2024.
Demand for GaN-based solutions remans vibrant, too.
In addition to all that has been mentioned above, Infineon mentioned that it still sees a huge market for IGBT, applications being industrial drives and a big part of wind energy.
Despite seeing robust dynamics in automotive and renewables, the company still takes a cautious stance for the coming quarters, preparing for an inflation-led macroeconomic slowdown in a rate-hike environment.