November 28, 2020

AVs: Sense the Need for Supply Chain Collaboration?

4 min read
Call it a wild guess, but I suspect I am not the only follower of...

Call it a wild guess, but I suspect I am not the only follower of the automotive industry who is tired of reading articles that lament the impact of Covid-19 and speculate, to varying degrees of accuracy, what kind of recovery is in store for major automotive markets around the world.

I’m much more interested in what solutions and creative approaches people, companies, and countries have come up with to make cars smarter and safer despite the pandemic or even because of it.

A friend of mine who works at a major European vehicle OEM told me that “innovation cannot, must not stop – despite current difficulties.” This sentiment echoes through the automotive supply chain, particularly in the resilience of the semiconductor industry during these challenging times.

The recent publication of the “AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive – Making Cars See and Think Ahead” is a refreshingly positive and inspiring collection of articles, interviews, technology deep dives and business news, all carefully curated and edited by AspenCore Global Editor-in-Chief Junko Yoshida.

One article I particularly enjoyed was her “6 Trends on ‘Perception’ for ADAS/AV.” The insights she was able to gather from experts attending the AutoSens show in Brussels are fascinating, even if consensus on what, exactly, will be the winning “robust perception” solution appears to be far off. This is only fitting with so many companies elbowing for that prime spot!

Another feature article that stood out was Nitin Dahad’s “Level 5 AVs Unlikely Before 2035” article. It wasn’t so much the longer ramp to full autonomy that caught my eye but the daunting challenge the automotive industry and AVs have to tackle: “…all possible unusual driving situations under all driving conditions and in all environments.” This is truly a mind-boggling undertaking. The author argues that the road to Level 5 “is likely to be paved gradually, as more advanced driver-assistance features come to market.” Sounds reasonable.

Both these articles point to the need for collaboration across the automotive electronics supply chain in order to not only sustain the pace of innovation, but accelerate it, as we face our current challenges. This made me think about the SEMI Smart Mobility initiative and how the great minds supporting it might be able to help. The initiative is designed to bring together automotive OEMs, Tier 1s, device makers, design houses, equipment and materials companies as well as R&D institutes to address shared challenges and opportunities.

SEMI used to stand for Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, but over the past several years – and driven by the advent of IoT, AI, and everything “smart” – we now represent the entire electronics manufacturing and design ecosystem, with more than 2,400 member companies on our global roster. We created the Smart Mobility initiative in late 2017 with the initial goal of connecting a substantial number of members to new business opportunities involving rapidly rising silicon content in automotive. IHS Markit projects automotive semiconductor revenue to continue to grow at a 6% CAGR to 2026.

Over the past 2 ½ years, the initiative has quickly evolved into a global platform connecting the semiconductor, sensor and automotive electronics ecosystem under one roof – the Global Automotive Advisory Council or GAAC. While “silicon content” is still the operative word for many of our core members, the Council’s mission is to address opportunities and challenges that impact more than one segment of the value chain. For example, the challenge of getting to zero defects involves just about every stakeholder – from contamination control in wafer carriers to ensuring device reliability and robustness to packaging and, ultimately, system integration in the car.

SEMI GAAC Europe Chapter – Participating Companies
SEMI also encompasses a number of Technology Communities that provide deep technical expertise in support of the GAAC’s mission. Member companies in our MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) are directly engaged in and contributing to the GAAC work.

“Sensorizing” – making things smarter through the application of sensors – has created solutions for the automotive and mobility space that bring innovation, safety, security and comfort to driver and passenger and that benefit the environment around the car.

This makes the AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive a great resource for our members and SEMI staff as we collaborate to accelerate the drive toward Level 5 autonomy.

If you are interested in learning more about SEMI’s Smart Mobility and the GAAC, please contact Bettina Weiss, Chief of Staff and Global Smart Mobility Lead at



The author is Bettina Weiss, chief of staff and global smart mobility at SEMI.

The post AVs: Sense the Need for Supply Chain Collaboration? appeared first on EETimes.

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