Ford and GM announce plans to develop chips amid ongoing semiconductor shortage

Humza

Posts: 942   +167
Staff member
The big picture: The ongoing chip shortage has caused so much trouble for the automotive industry that Detroit’s two biggest names have now decided to step into chip development. Although the initial focus is on strengthening ties with existing chipmakers to deal with near-term shortages, Ford looks to eventually improve supply and gain independence with in-house semiconductor development in the future.

There have been several reported instances this year of new vehicles piling up at car dealerships and parking lots, all seemingly fit for the road but ultimately undrivable for consumers because the manufacturer couldn’t source a chip to put inside in time. Others, meanwhile, have been forced to sell cars without functioning touchscreens.

Among US automakers, Ford was among the worst hit by the ongoing chip crisis, which led to tens of thousands of F-150 pickups piling up on the Kentucky Speedway. Now, WSJ reports that the automaker, alongside General Motors, is getting into chip development in a bid to reduce supply constraints and gain more control over this crucial component.

Ford, which recently hired back Apple’s car project lead, has ramped up its EV production plans, and its newly announced partnership with GlobalFoundries for developing chips could potentially smooth the road ahead for vehicle production.

Chuck Gray, Ford’s VP of vehicle embedded software and controls, says this agreement is partly meant to improve near-term supplies and that the company will co-develop higher-end chips with GlobalFoundries for future vehicles.

GM, meanwhile, has also set agreements with Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors for chip manufacturing. The automaker estimates semiconductor demand to double over the next few years and says it plans to develop three core chip families with similar architectures for increased semiconductor quantity and quality.

It’ll be interesting to see if automakers can develop a more Tesla-like vertical approach to car production in the future and perhaps shorten the chip crisis that’s expected to linger on for a few more years.

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Yenega

Posts: 302   +205
GloFo 12nm can be used for this, too bad for CPU and GPUs anyway.

GloFo 12nm is worse than TSMC 16nm by far. Called 12nm anyway 😂

And this is why we don't really use nanometers for comparison any more. Can only be used internally not for comparison between 2 fabs.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,468   +7,282
I'm a little surprised it took this long for them to see the light, although I agree that they could have choosen better suppliers. That being said, with as many chips as they both use I'm more surprised they didn't decide to put together their own chip manufacturers, then branch out to sell to others once they meet their own demands. A sizable investment but with the amount of cash they generate it would be a worthy investment.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,656   +6,444
The Chip shortage will lead to new businesses and new opportunity to create more chips and higher rates, and hopefully in more regions than currently exist.

The FREE MARKET will figure it out.

But the bigger issue is that the logistics of shipping goods from factories in other countries all the way to my doorstep is the real problem.

In the old days, we had more local factories. They'd bundle up goods, ship them to a big store and I'd drive there, load up my car and drive home.

Now, the market has chosen that they want to be able to buy everything from shirt buttons to 80" TV from the other side of the world and have it delivered, round the clock, to their porch. When an epidemic, crisis or emergency happens in any of the supplying countries, the entire system grinds to a halt.
 

BadThad

Posts: 800   +933
The Chip shortage will lead to new businesses and new opportunity to create more chips and higher rates, and hopefully in more regions than currently exist.

The FREE MARKET will figure it out.

But the bigger issue is that the logistics of shipping goods from factories in other countries all the way to my doorstep is the real problem.

In the old days, we had more local factories. They'd bundle up goods, ship them to a big store and I'd drive there, load up my car and drive home.

Now, the market has chosen that they want to be able to buy everything from shirt buttons to 80" TV from the other side of the world and have it delivered, round the clock, to their porch. When an epidemic, crisis or emergency happens in any of the supplying countries, the entire system grinds to a halt.

It also grinds to a halt when you have an ineptocracy running the show.