HomePress ReleaseEIN PresswireContinued Growth Expected in Duration of Automotive MCU Chip Shortage

Continued Growth Expected in Duration of Automotive MCU Chip Shortage

The automotive market is at the moment the most well liked in the semiconductor trade.

HONG KONG, CHINA, August 11, 2023/ — The automotive market is at the moment the most well liked in the semiconductor trade. The tempo of “new 4 modernizations” in cars is getting quicker, and the quantity of chips required in vehicles is rising. Amongst them, essentially the most noticeable is the MCU, a significant “chip scarcity” participant. Since 2020, the MCU has all the time been the protagonist of the “chip scarcity”. Thus far, after main producers have repeatedly expanded manufacturing, has the chip scarcity scenario been alleviated?

Excessive Necessities, Lengthy Cycle, Massive Funding, Troublesome to Enter for Automotive MCU Chips

The chips used in automotive electronics primarily fall into 4 classes: grasp management chips (MCU/SoC), energy chips (IGBT), picture sensor chips (CIS), and storage chips (Flash). Because the core chip for movement management, MCU has a really big selection of functions in automotive electronics and is an indispensable core part of automotive electronics.

With the rise of the “new 4 modernizations” in cars, MCU, as the important thing chip for the event of cars from electrification to intelligence, has an more and more wealthy software subject, akin to window controllers, on-board diagnostic techniques, radar functions, automotive gentle functions, automotive central management, automobile energy and security, and so forth. On common, about 100 MCUs are used in a automotive. The whole market of automotive MCUs in China is about 2 billion items, with a market dimension of tens of billions of yuan.

Going through such a broad market, increasingly MCU chip producers are starting to transition to automotive chips. Nonetheless, automotive-grade MCUs have the traits of excessive buyer certification boundaries and lengthy provide cycles. After the downstream automotive producers of automotive MCUs full certification, they won’t simply change suppliers, which makes it troublesome for a lot of MCU corporations to enter the automotive-grade monitor in a brief interval.

As well as, in the method of the evolution of cars in direction of clever techniques, not solely are increased necessities put ahead for the protection, stability, and consistency of MCUs, however MCUs additionally must have increased computing energy, stronger community interfaces, and decrease energy consumption. This results in the necessity for automotive-grade MCUs to have an extended testing and experimental time and better funding earlier than they can be utilized in vehicles and go into mass manufacturing.

Main Producers Improve Investments to Broaden Manufacturing

The worldwide automotive MCU market has lengthy been dominated by main corporations, with Renesas, NXP, Microchip Know-how, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Devices collectively holding over 90% of the market share, all working below the IDM mannequin. Due to this fact, the enlargement of these six producers has grow to be a key issue in resolving the scarcity of automotive-grade MCUs. The scarcity of MCUs stems from an absence of 8-inch wafer manufacturing capability on the availability aspect and a surge in the use of automotive MCUs on the demand aspect.

Renesas has introduced plans to speculate round 48 billion yen to introduce 40nm MCU manufacturing tools at its Naka plant and 130nm MCU manufacturing tools at its Kawashiri plant by February and March 2025, respectively, because of the speedy improve in demand for automotive-grade MCUs pushed by the popularization of electrical autos. As well as, the Kofu plant, which was closed in 2014, is deliberate to be reactivated in the primary half of 2024 as a result of elevated demand from electrical autos and can introduce movie manufacturing tools by August 2026. The newly launched manufacturing tools on the Naka and Kofu crops may have a month-to-month capability of 10,000 items (transformed to 12-inch silicon chips), and the Kawashiri plant may have a month-to-month capability of 29,100 items (transformed to 8-inch silicon chips). The purpose is to extend MCU manufacturing capability by 10% by the tip of 2026.

NXP has said that the demand in the core automotive market was sturdy in 2022, exceeding the corporate’s provide capability, and expects the availability of automotive MCUs to stay tight in 2023. NXP’s latest capital expenditure will stay excessive to make sure shoppers have enough manufacturing capability assist. Li Tingwei, Chairman of NXP Larger China, identified that NXP will proceed to speculate in 2023 and allocate and defend R&D investments to proceed to advertise accelerated progress in areas akin to automotive and core industrial.

Infineon introduced in its This fall 2022 earnings name that as a result of restricted will increase in the availability of mature processes, the corporate’s automotive MCU enterprise is predicted to develop 2.5 occasions in the subsequent few years. Due to this fact, it plans to proceed increasing its 12-inch wafer manufacturing capability to fulfill the accelerating demand for semiconductors. The brand new manufacturing unit is deliberate to be positioned in Dresden, Germany, with a complete funding of 5 billion euros, the biggest single funding in Infineon’s historical past. As well as, it has additionally signed a long-term strategic cooperation settlement with wafer producer UMC to extend Infineon’s automotive MCU manufacturing capability. It’s understood that its high-performance automotive-grade MCU merchandise will probably be produced in UMC’s Singapore wafer manufacturing unit utilizing a 40nm course of. Wang Shi, co-general supervisor of UMC, mentioned that Infineon’s automotive-grade MCU merchandise will probably be produced at UMC’s FAB 12 in Singapore, and UMC’s shipments of automotive-grade merchandise have tripled in comparison with 2019.

Jean-Marc Chery, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics, mentioned: “STMicroelectronics’ income grew by 26.4% in 2022, reaching $16.13 billion, with the automotive and discrete system merchandise division (ADG) contributing greater than 30% of complete income. The automotive enterprise is central to STMicroelectronics’ purpose of reaching $20 billion in income.” Julian Zhu, Vice President of STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific Microcontroller and Digital IC Product Division (MDG) IoT/AI Know-how Innovation Middle and Digital Advertising, mentioned that STMicroelectronics will actively broaden manufacturing capability to make sure a secure and versatile provide chain. STMicroelectronics’ capital expenditure reached $3.5 billion in 2022. To proceed supporting capability progress, capital expenditure is predicted to extend to $4 billion in 2023. STMicroelectronics will mix varied measures to broaden manufacturing capability, together with actively investing to extend inner capability, strengthening cooperation, and making certain provide by exterior foundries, and so forth. By 2025, wafer manufacturing capability will considerably improve. It’s anticipated that 12-inch wafer manufacturing capability will double by 2025.

Structural Shortages Will Proceed

Jak Electronics claims that the present scarcity of automotive-grade MCUs has improved, shifting from a complete scarcity in the previous two years to a structural scarcity. Automotive-grade MCUs may be divided into 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit. The upper the bit quantity, the stronger the efficiency, and the upper the analysis and growth issue and unit worth. Amongst them, 8-bit MCUs can meet the wants of most situations and are broadly used for primary capabilities, akin to followers, wipers, sunroofs, seat controls, and so forth. 32-bit MCUs are used in high-end areas akin to automotive clever cockpits, physique management, assisted driving, and driving security techniques. Benefiting from its small dimension and glorious efficiency, and the development of car intelligence, world MCU chip merchandise are primarily 32-bit. In accordance with the McClean Report, in 2021, over three-quarters of automotive MCU gross sales got here from 32-bit MCUs. With the additional growth of car intelligence and electrification, the proportion of 32-bit MCU chips is predicted to additional improve.

Due to this fact, 8-bit MCUs are not in brief provide, and the actual scarcity is high-end 32-bit MCUs. Yao Di, Vice President of Nanxin Microelectronics, instructed reporters: “This structural scarcity primarily stems from the speedy progress in demand for particular chips in the brand new vitality automobile and pan-energy industries. Within the brief time period, the enlargement of manufacturing capability for automotive chips at some particular course of nodes can’t sustain with the expansion in demand. From the attitude of all the semiconductor trade, packaging and testing capability has been totally relieved. On the similar time, the demand for wafer manufacturing capability has additionally diverged. For instance, the availability scarcity of low-voltage course of wafer capability used in automotive chips has been totally relieved, whereas the wafer capability utilizing high-voltage BCD processes and energy system processes remains to be comparatively missing. Due to this fact, this structural scarcity will proceed for a while.”

Meng Fanwei, Senior Market Supervisor of Jiefa Know-how’s Advertising Enterprise Division, instructed the “China Electronics Information” reporter that at the moment, some half numbers of high-end ASIL-D merchandise with security options are nonetheless out of inventory, akin to Infineon’s TCxx sequence and SBC merchandise with security options. Mid-to-low-end automotive MCUs are not in brief provide, and OEMs, tier-1 suppliers, and distributors are starting to construct up stock. Jiefa Know-how is strengthening cooperation with automobile producers and tier-1 suppliers, planning and laying out merchandise in advance, inviting automobile producers to affix in product planning to keep away from the issue of product homogenization and centralization. As well as, it’s strengthening communication and cooperation with wafer factories, planning in advance, securing manufacturing capability, and accelerating cooperation with the upstream and downstream of the home trade chain, from design, manufacturing, packaging, and testing to all the trade chain.

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