The worldwide shortages in automotive microchips stand to continue into 2022 and 2023, possibly into 2024, industry sources say. An electric vehicle contains an average of 770 chips, compared with 560 chips for vehicles with internal combustion engines, those sources note.
Integrated device manufacturers and pure-play foundries are expanding their production capacity with new wafer fabrication facilities, leading to worries about the semiconductor industry having excess capacity in years to come, this analysis notes. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for example, is budgeting up to $100 billion over three years to add capacity, with new fabs going up in China, Japan, Taiwan and the US; Germany is being considered for a wafer fab.
Semtech hopes to draw more Internet of Things device developers to its LoRa Developer Portal with new features and added resources. The portal now offers interactive tutorials and the LoRaWAN Academy curriculum.
Broadcom, MediaTek, Qualcomm and other chip vendors are anticipating strong demand next year for Wi-Fi 6/6E chips, industry sources say. Those chips will be going into 5G infrastructure, desktop computers, notebooks, routers, televisions and industrial control systems.
In IC designs, interposers can now function similarly to printed circuit boards, Brian Bailey writes. "Interposers are mostly used to reduce the power needed to transfer huge amounts of data between different dies," says Andy Heinig of Fraunhofer IIS.
Radio-frequency IC designs are taking on aspects that were previously relocated to boards and systems, writes Roland Jancke of Fraunhofer's Engineering of Adaptive Systems Division. "The processing of higher powers in tiny RF devices also places special demands on the thermal design of the components," he concludes.
Compound semiconductor and power chip fabrication facilities are forecast to turn out more than 10 million wafers per month in 2023, reflecting increased demand for automotive components, SEMI forecasts. China will be the source for one-third of those 200mm wafer equivalents, the industry organization predicts.
The worldwide shortages in crucial components will represent a challenge to national security, an anonymous industry insider tells Fox News. "Whoever wins the race for the next generation of semiconductor products eventually will have a major military, and maybe a dominant political and economic, force on the global stage," the insider says.
Electronics waste is estimated to reach more than 57 million tonnes in 2021. "A tonne of discarded mobile phones is richer in gold than a tonne of gold ore," says Ruediger Kuehr, director of the UN's Sustainable Cycles program.
Hyundai Motor will develop custom chip designs for its automotive vehicles, reducing its reliance on traditional chip vendors. Hyundai's Jose Munoz said the automaker will work with its parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis to develop the plan for in-house chip development.
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