Hyundai Motor Considering Purchase of IC Controllers for Home Appliances Due to Global Chip Shortage

Hyundai Motor is considering purchasing IC controllers for household appliances as a long-term global chip shortage continues to affect car production. The South Korean auto giant is testing whether the controllers can replace those it currently uses sourced from auto chipmakers, the sources said, as home appliance IC controllers are more readily available than those provided by auto chipmakers.

The chips Hyundai wants to replace are for auxiliary functions rather than the main system, which means replacements are possible, the sources said. Most chips used in cars are exposed to extreme temperatures and subjected to large external shocks, so they need to meet higher reliability and safety standards than those used in consumer electronics and appliances.

But chips used in headlights and taillights don't need to follow this higher standard because they don't affect the car's main function. In a recent report, IC Insights noted that last year's automotive IC shipments grew 30% from 2020, outpacing the 22% year-over-year increase in total IC shipments. IC Insights also said that demand for automotive chips is much higher than supply, creating a bottleneck.

Hyundai had to suspend production at its South Korean factory last year due to a shortage of chips. It also suspended production at its Alabama plant earlier this year.

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