Automotive market moves to the foreground for Global Foundries

October 17, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Against the background of a rapidly growing market for automotive electronics, GlobalFoundries sees the role of the semiconductor industry in the automotive value chain to be changing. With its specific range of technologies, the company considers itself to be ideally positioned for these readjustments, GloFo explained at an industry meeting in Munich. This couldn't be done without a little side blow to the competition.

The market for automotive electronics is growing rapidly. While the market observers from McKinsey estimate it to be worth 35 billion dollars for the current year, it will have grown by 50 percent by 2023 – a CAGR of 7 percent. One area is growing particularly fast: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). For this segment, McKinsey even estimates an average annual growth rate of 19 percent. Microcontrollers, analog and power arresters account for about 80 percent of the value of these semiconductors. Semiconductor foundry GlobalFoundries is throwing its hat into the ring. ”We have the right technologies to serve this market," said Juan D. Cordovez, Region Head, Sales EMEA at the GlobalFoundries Technology Forum (GTC). 

The demand for chips from the automotive industry is leading to a rebalancing of the equilibrium between the semiconductor and automotive industry. “In the past, chip manufacturers approached carmakers and Tier-one-suppliers and simply sold them their products," explains Cordovez. "Today, the situation is more complex. It is no longer possible to simply sell a product off the shelf; the added value is the result of a system understanding".

This means that the products are no longer developed, manufactured and sold by one side, while the other side uses these products as they are delivered. Instead, product design takes place in an interactive process. The foundry model pursued by GloFo is also subject to change. “We are more involved in the design, and we deliver critical IP. And we build ecosystems with 3rd parties. These ecosystems enable our customers to either accelerate development cycles or implement competitive functions in the first place," says Cordovez.

Not only the OEMs and semiconductor manufacturers as Tier-two suppliers are involved in the reorientation of the development process; Tier-one suppliers are also involved when it comes to developing new technologies for ADAS, sensors or power controllers. According to Cordovez, the focus of his knowledge is still on the Tier ones. "but the ecosystems are growing."

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