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Cars, the chip shortage and old tech

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ledtester:
Interesting perspective:

https://fortune.com/2021/09/17/chip-makers-carmakers-time-get-out-semiconductor-stone-age/

Benta:

--- Quote from: ledtester on September 18, 2021, 05:54:05 pm ---Interesting perspective:

https://fortune.com/2021/09/17/chip-makers-carmakers-time-get-out-semiconductor-stone-age/

--- End quote ---

Yes, and not particularly well researched.

There is a huge difference between Consumer and Automotive semiconductors.
Consumer devices are expected to last a couple of years, and do not need to be especially reliable or EMI resistant.
Automotive parts need to live for at least 20 years and be able to withstand a very rough environment (temperature, vibration, moisture, EMI, power spikes etc.).

There's a reason that car companies qualify parts not only at a device level, but also at technology node (geometry, packaging etc.).

A bricked iPhone or a crashed laptop will not get anyone sued. A malfunctioning airbag system could cost a company billions.

The comment about "I’ll make them as many Intel 16 [nanometer] chips as they want,” is arrogant to the point of ignorance.

m98:
It's not like its only microcontrollers who are in short supply. But why aren't they starting to offer some AEC-qualified ARM or RISC-V microcontrollers for killer price points at unlimited availability on their own then?

peter-h:
I am happy to see the myth of JIT (just in time) purchasing exploded.

JIT is just a fancy name for the powerful customer screwing the less powerful supplier into keeping stock (at no extra cost) and drop feeding it to the customer.

Will anything change? I doubt it. Screwing suppliers is the #1 corporate muscle flexing activity, to show everybody how good and clever and aggressive you are. You can't screw customers, and screwing employees is tricky nowadays.

Stray Electron:

--- Quote from: peter-h on September 20, 2021, 11:32:27 am ---I am happy to see the myth of JIT (just in time) purchasing exploded.


--- End quote ---

  THIS is what got the car companies into trouble and very little else. Sure Covid made it worse, but any serious disruptions such as China possibly closing the South China Sea to other countries, a fire in factory, a labor strike at a mine, a strike in a shipping port, or any other event could have had the same effect. JIT might work when you're relying on a large US based company for fraction of it's output but in dealing with unstable countries and with overseas shipping and when you're consuming the majority of a factory's output and there are no other producers, it's not reliable enough source of supply.

   Ford, in particular, should have seen this coming since they went through this after the 2011 Fukushima tidal wave destroyed the only factory anywhere in the world that produced the pigment for Ford's extremely popular Tuxedo black paint and delayed production for over a year.

    As someone already pointed out, these are not consumer grade chips and neither Intel or any other chip maker is going to make MAJOR investments in chip foundries unless their customer (i.e. the car companies) are going to commit to buying very large numbers of chips over a very long time. Apple and some other companies appear to have made these kinds of long term commitments and still have a stable chip supply but the auto makers are still trying to get by by playing each of their suppliers against each other in order to keep their costs low and their profits high.

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