Carmakers are shielding themselves to deal with the semiconductor crisis: Renault has reached an agreement with Qualcomm
The current situation is making it difficult for car manufacturers. In recent months, Toyota, General Motors, BMW or the Stellantis group, among many other companies in the automotive industry, have made public their concern about the huge deficit of integrated circuits they are facing. The stock of chips to which they have access appears to be not at all sufficient for them to maintain the manufacturing volume they had estimated, which is forcing them to cut production drastically.
During the last two decades, electronic components in vehicles have become much more important than they used to be, and this development has led to the demand for semiconductors from car manufacturers be growing. Furthermore, nothing seems to indicate that this trend will change. In fact, the transition to an electrified fleet that we have already embarked on as a society and the development of autonomous driving will surely mean that the vehicles of the future will need to incorporate even more highly integrated chips.
Against this background, automakers are doing what they might be expected to do: they are trying to shield themselves with the purpose of sourcing the semiconductors they need to satisfy their needs. The problem is that it is not easy to achieve this in a market in which all brands are in a similar situation, which is causing some of them to strengthen their ties with semiconductor manufacturers, and even forge new alliances with some of them in anticipation that their dependence on chips will surely grow further.
Renault has reached a strategic agreement with Qualcomm
This is a win-win In all rules. Qualcomm has struggled for several years to achieve in the automotive industry such a solid position like the one it has in the mobile phone market. And one way to do this is to convince car manufacturers that their integrated circuits fit the vehicles they produce. On the other hand, as we have just seen, the latter are interested in making firm commitments with semiconductor designers and manufacturers to access the stock chips they need.
This is the breeding ground in which Qualcomm claims to have signed an agreement with Renault to provide the chips that the French manufacturer will use in some of its upcoming electric vehicles. However, the moment they have chosen to publicize their alliance is not the result of chance. Renault just presented your new Mégane E-Tech, a 100% electric saloon that, apparently, uses Qualcomm’s integrated circuits to run the software on which its infotainment system is implemented.
It is very likely that in the coming months we will witness more alliances between car and semiconductor manufacturers that will precisely seek to strengthen a bond that allows them to overcome the current crisis of integrated circuits. However, it is not yet clear to what extent the agreement reached by Qualcomm and Renault will help them emerge better from this conflict. After all, Qualcomm designs chips, but doesn’t make them. Most of them se los produce TSMC. The bottleneck lies precisely with the semiconductor manufacturers, although forging an alliance with such a strong company in the integrated circuit market as Qualcomm certainly benefits Renault in this highly unstable climate.
Via | Reuters