Ford and Chipmaker Announce No-Commitment “Partnership” to Alleviate Shortages – .

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Ford and Chipmaker Announce No-Commitment “Partnership” to Alleviate Shortages – .


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In an effort to tackle the current global chip shortage, chipmaker GlobalFoundries and Ford Motor Company today announced a “strategic collaboration,” both via a press release and Wall Street Journal coverage. . The “non-binding agreement,” the statement said, “opens the door” for GlobalFoundries to deliver more chips to Ford in the near term, while promising collaboration on future chips for cars.

“These could include semiconductor solutions for ADAS, battery management systems and on-board networks for an automated, connected and electrified future,” the statement said. “GF and Ford will also explore expanded semiconductor manufacturing opportunities to support the automotive industry. “

All of this looks promising, although the press release does not actually commit either of the two companies to take specific action. Contacted for information on more details, Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake reiterated that it was “an agreement to work together on the areas mentioned in the statement”, but had no other information to share.

Automakers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, resulting in part from business decisions made at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anticipating reduced demand, automakers cut back on chip orders, and chipmakers in turn cut back on chip production. But demand for new vehicles (and all kinds of merchandise) rebounded faster than expected, and automakers who cut orders found themselves in a long queue for more chips.

The results have been far-reaching. An April 2021 Detroit Free Press article showed a parking lot full of Ford F-150s waiting for chips but otherwise fully assembled. Chip shortages have slowed or halted production at many auto factories this year, and a shortage of new cars has had a big ripple effect, pushing up prices on everything from car rentals to cars. opportunity.

If the deal between Ford and GlobalFoundries to develop future chips is successful, it would be another example of a company choosing to design their own specially designed chips rather than relying on general-purpose chips made by Intel, AMD, Qualcomm. , Samsung, Nvidia or MediaTek. Apple is perhaps the most publicized example, thanks to Apple Silicon chips which replaced Intel’s in recent Macs. But Google has also created its own chip for its latest Pixel flagship phones, and Amazon has deployed its own chips in its servers to improve the performance and capabilities of the voice assistant Alexa. Intel, which for decades only made its own chips in its factories, is even taking steps to open up factory capacity to other companies who want to make their own designs.

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