The tide of chip shortage has swept the global car companies, how do domestic chips slowly develop?

The China Automobile Association previously pointed out that the current wave of core shortages in the automotive industry is expected to continue until Q3 2021, or even the end of the year. According to estimates from the American Bernstein Research Company, a global shortage of automotive chips in 2021 will cause a loss of up to 4.5 million vehicles, which is equivalent to nearly 5% of the global annual output.

Based on recent news reports, the lack of cores has made auto companies miserable. Due to the lack of cores, Nissan’s thousands of cars are no longer equipped with navigation systems; due to the lack of cores, Renault has stopped providing super-large digital displays behind the steering wheel of its Arkana SUV models; due to the lack of cores, Audi’s new cars are only rationed for one The remote control key...

At the 2021 China Integrated Circuit Design and Innovation Conference and IC Application Expo (ICDIA 2021), reporters from electronics enthusiasts and exhibitors National Technology talked about the opportunities for domestic chip manufacturers in the automotive industry due to the lack of core. National technical staff said that the shortage of automotive chips gives domestic manufacturers more opportunities to enter this previously relatively closed industry, and some changes have taken place in the industry rules, especially in after-installation applications, where car-level regulations are no longer a necessary condition. , But the chip needs to meet the strict certification of the solution provider or the car manufacturer.

The new normal of automotive chip supply

With the popularization of new energy vehicles and the improvement of the level of automobile intelligence, the demand for parts and components of major auto manufacturers is currently on the rise. According to IHS data, the value of chips currently accounts for 40% of the total value of automobiles, and this value will increase to 45% by 2030.

Not only has the proportion of value increased significantly, but also more and more types of chips are used in automobiles. Functionally, automotive chips are mainly divided into functional chips, power semiconductors, and sensors. Among them, functional chips include dedicated processors, microcontrollers, memory chips, Bluetooth chips, WIFI chips, radio frequency chips, etc.; power semiconductors are mainly diodes, transistors, IGBTs, and MOSFETs; sensors will have pressure sensors, temperature sensors, Humidity sensor, position sensor, and airflow meter.

Judging from the current market feedback, microcontroller MCUs and various types of power devices are the hardest-hit areas of the automotive industry's core shortage event. In the field of automotive MCUs, there is an industry pattern monopolized by foreign giants, with international companies such as NXP, Infineon, Renesas, and ST occupying nearly 70% of the market. In the case of repeated global epidemics, these large factories are also the most affected. The delivery cycle of normal MCUs is 8-10 weeks, while the current delivery cycle of some MCUs has reached 40 weeks or more. Manufacturers' price increases are frequent and large.

Although other types of automotive chips have not changed as much in terms of price and delivery as MCUs, they are also facing huge supply pressure, which has caused some automakers to reduce their distribution and production. And, it seems that this will be the industry's normal at least for 2021.

Passing rules is an unavoidable topic

On July 16, Tian Yulong, chief engineer and spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in response to a reporter’s question: “In order to actively respond to the shortage of automotive chip supply, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has established a working group for the promotion and application of automotive semiconductors. Give full play to the strength of local governments, vehicle companies, and chip companies, strengthen supply-demand docking and work coordination, and formulate targeted measures to promote the improvement of the supply capacity of automotive chips."

Driven by policies, domestic chip companies that are determined to enter the automotive industry chain should also control their own pace. So, what is the path of the National Technology Corporation?

First of all, the passing of car regulations is an unavoidable topic. In many cases, components used in automobiles are much more expensive than components of the same type used in other fields. One of the important reasons is that the components need to pass the car level. The car regulations we often refer to basically refer to the common component qualification and quality system standards established by the International Automotive Electronics Commission (AEC) for the automotive industry.

Specific to the level of electronic components, AECQ series certification will have AEC-Q100, AEC-Q101, AEC-Q102, AEC-Q103, AEC-Q104, and AEC-Q200. Among them, the AEC-Q100-the certification specification for chip stress testing is the most common in the semiconductor circle.

National Technology is a chip supplier. Obtaining AEC-Q100 certification not only allows products to go deeper in the automotive industry but also proves their own technical strength. National technical staff said that the company's automotive-grade high-performance security chip N32S032 series has a financial-grade security level and has obtained AEC-Q100 Grade 2 certification (it can work normally in an environment of -40°C ~ 105°C).

In fact, I believe you are no stranger to the N32S032 series of security chips. This series of chips have been widely used in the fields of mobile Internet such as e-banking, e-commerce, e-government, and Internet of Things security encryption applications. The shipment volume reaches hundreds of millions.

National technical staff said that the follow-up company will continue to promote multiple series of products for car-level certification, and gradually move closer to the automotive pre-installation market.

Special opportunities in the aftermarket

The so-called times make heroes, the current automotive industry lack of core is indeed a general trend for domestic chips. Friends who are familiar with the AEC-Q100 certification know that the certification also has Grade 3, that is, it can work normally in the environment of -40℃~85℃. Such devices are mostly used in the cabin, the periphery of the car body, and after installation. market.

However, under special circumstances, many solution providers have begun to set their own set of quality verification standards when designing post-installation applications, so that many non-vehicle-grade chips can support application design. Some practitioners believe that this is the inevitable result of the epidemic and the increasing degree of automotive electrical and electronic equipment.

The design life of traditional cars is generally 15 years/200,000 kilometers, which is far beyond the life cycle of electronic components. In the special period of the epidemic, in order to ensure the supply of the pre-installation market, many automotive-grade chips, especially AEC-Q100 Grade 3 chips have become a scarce resource and cannot guarantee maintenance, function upgrades, and modification needs.

At the same time, with the increase in car ownership, the gap in the life cycle of automobiles and electronic products, as well as the demand for functional upgrades and modifications, will increase. Therefore, the aftermarket is also an opportunity for domestic chips.

Facing this market, National Technology has prepared a relatively complete product line for the automotive industry. Including security chips, MCU chips, NFC reader chips, BLE Bluetooth chips, and secure cloud platforms. Meet the rich aftermarket needs of TBOX, car driving recorders, car diagnostics, car entertainment audio, and video, car navigation, car atmosphere lights, and 360 panoramic views. Here we need to specifically mention the current national technology MCU products. National Technology's MCU products have multiple series, more than 100 chip models, covering basic, mainstream, and high-end application needs.

Of course, the national technical staff also said that the company is also actively promoting these chips used in the automotive aftermarket to meet the needs of more vehicles. It penetrates into the interior of the car body and is the biggest and stronger in the aftermarket.