How are Semiconductors Used in Automobiles

Semiconductor devices are made from wafers of silicon, gallium arsenide, or silicon carbide substrates.

Fremont, CA: Semiconductor devices are everywhere in our daily lives. Consumer electronics such as mobile phones, laptop computers, telecommunications, 5G, cloud computing infrastructure, and autos are examples of semiconductor uses.

In today's technologically sophisticated vehicles, semiconductors get employed in important tasks such as sensing, safety features, power management, displays, and vehicle control. In addition, more semiconductors are getting used in hybrid, and electric cars (EVs), rapidly expanding, with over 1 million EVs installed globally in the previous year.

Global semiconductor chip shortages have significantly impacted the vehicle manufacturing business. Due to these shortages, leading automakers reported a 40 percent drop in output. Today's shortages can get traced back to early COVID-19 pandemic manufacturing cuts of chips used in automobiles when demand for automobiles declined. However, the manufacture of high-performance processors has not slowed. As a result of the pandemic, demand for consumer electronics, cellphones, laptops, and screens skyrocketed as the global workforce relocated to remote work settings and quarantines. Semiconductor manufacturing plants emphasized chip manufacture for these electronics above autos.

Semiconductors get produced from wafers of silicon, gallium arsenide, or silicon carbide as the basic material. Let's look at some of the ways semiconductors are employed in automobiles:

• Safety and driver assistance

Semiconductor chips provide safety systems, including semi-autonomous driver assistance systems in modern autos. Blind-spot detection systems, backup cameras, collision-avoidance sensors, adaptive cruise controls, lane-change aid, airbag deployment sensors, and emergency braking systems are examples of intelligent functions enabled by semiconductor devices.

• Electrification of vehicles

Several car control operations now use electric technologies rather than mechanical methods. Semiconductors have played a significant role in this. Such electrification has also aided in increasing the efficiency of combustion in automobile engines, as well as battery management systems in hybrid and electric cars, aiding in the recovery of energy from regenerative braking systems and allowing electric vehicle technologies.

• Connectivity and entertainment

The increased usage of networking technology in current automobiles enables Internet communication as well as capabilities such as GPS, mapping routes and road closures, and emergency services. Semiconductor devices allow all of these functions.