Vehicles today are as connected as mobile devices – and require component support to match.
Rises in the development of – and investment in – autonomous capabilities and other connected mobility features power the need for more semiconductors and other electronic components in cars. Analysts anticipate that the automotive and industrial-electronics segments will continue their strong demand trends for the next quarter and that the corresponding component shortages will continue for at least two more quarters.
As a leading independent semiconductor and electronic-component distributor, Smith has decades of experience in the global open market and offers supply chain solutions for automotive OEMs and part suppliers.
Data from Smith’s Market Intelligence Team points to the automotive industry experiencing tight semiconductor supply in pockets through the rest of this year and into the next. Demand for semiconductors in automotive applications is not going away. The automotive industry will continue to feel supply constraints as the production of semiconductor fabs worldwide is just now ramping up. Utilizing trustworthy market-intelligence information and ensuring that certified quality-assurance processes are in place are best practices for supply chain management.
Lead times for automotive and industrial-grade switches, arrays, amplifiers, and converters (IGBTs, FPGAs, op-amps, and power-management ICs like MOSFETs) remain well above normal. Backlog numbers are flat and may take 6 to 12 or more months to overcome.
The latest market data reports on the most requested chip manufacturers: Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, onsemi, Infineon, NXP, Vishay, Microchip Technology, and STMicroelectronics are the IC manufacturers garnering the most requests for quotations, while KEMET, Panasonic, and Vishay are at the top among manufacturers of ceramic capacitors, which continue to be in high demand.
The types of products most requested by end-product manufacturers mirrored previous months’ catalogs, with an emphasis on automotive- and industrial-focused/temperature-graded parts. Specifically, power-management chips, transistors and diodes, general-purpose logic, and ceramic capacitors were most requested, according to Smith’s data.
Each component that supports an automobile’s functionality is vital. Quality control and counterfeit mitigation are critical areas of expertise when sourcing semiconductors on the open market, and they are even more critical when supporting high-stakes applications like automotive manufacturing. Buyers should seek out reputable distributors that have a diligent sourcing and procurement documentation process to meet authorized suppliers’ complete traceability requirements. Distributors and suppliers should ensure full traceability with in-house testing services and quality certifications such as ISO 9001, AS6081, and CCAP-101.
In the near future, the automotive industry is unlikely to find relief directly from chip manufacturers and will need to continue expanding beyond traditional just-in-time procurement practices. To navigate this ongoing shortage situation, it’s essential for players in the automotive field to work with experienced and established partners that have the in-house testing capabilities and third-party certifications to provide tailored supply chain solutions of any size or scope.
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