Qualcomm unveiled a major acceleration of its processors’ penetration of the car industry today at its Automotive Redefined event. Its experience with 5G and the Internet of Things is helping its next generation of chips power an Alexa-driven cockpit, the self-driving vehicle and electric charging.
An extension of its partnership with General Motors on such systems was also announced, but GM has more immediate chip concerns, along with the rest of the industry.
Our analysis of supply constraints in the chip sector, which have hit production for GM, Volkswagen, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and others, suggests the shortage is expected to last at least six months.
The production of more than 280,000 vehicles has already been put on ice, according to data provider AutoForecast Solutions. IHS Markit forecasts that as many as 500,000 vehicles could ultimately be affected.
Consumer electronics companies’ needs have continued to take precedence, with just 10 per cent of semiconductor fabrication plants used for automotive parts and huge demand for games consoles, laptops and televisions caused by the pandemic.
Chips are set to play a much bigger role in cars: the semiconductor content of electric vehicles is roughly three times more valuable than that of a petrol car, according to IHS Markit.
Hyundai Motor, the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker, has avoided crippling shortages because it did not cancel any chip orders when the pandemic hammered sales and forced factories to shut in early 2020.
The Korean company, which has been linked with a future Apple car, said today it aimed to boost electric vehicle sales by 60 per cent this year to 160,000, led by its new Ioniq 5 — the first model made on its dedicated EV platform that will cut production costs and time.
1. Intel’s lack of intelligence on URLsThere will be more semiconductor news after the New York market close, with AMD and Texas Instruments reporting quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, Intel has revealed the leak of its results last Thursday was probably due to the use of very similar URLs each quarter for its financial disclosures, making it relatively simple for hackers to guess them.
2. N Korea hacks cyber security expertsGoogle has warned it has uncovered an “ongoing” state-backed hacking campaign run by North Korea targeting cyber security researchers. Its threat analysis team found that cyber attackers posing as researchers had created numerous fake social media profiles and a fake blog for which they would get unwitting targets to write guest posts about actual software bugs. Check out today’s FT Special Report on Cyber Security and Society.
3. Facebook’s far-left knows what far-right feels likeFacebook said it had mistakenly removed a number of far-left political accounts, citing an “automation error”, triggering uproar from socialists who accused the social media platform of censorship. The Socialist Workers party and its student wing, the Socialist Worker Student Society in the UK, as well as the International Youth and Students for Social Equality chapter at the University of Michigan were among those affected.
4. GameStop and BlackBerry soar amid bubble fearsGameStop, the video games retailer whose shares have been sent flying by gangs of day traders co-ordinating moves on Reddit is the subject of our latest look at Runaway Markets. Our Due Diligence newsletter also identifies BlackBerry’s rapid rise and asks whether we are in bubble territory.
5. Grindr censured in Norway over data useThe gay dating app Grindr is facing a €9.6m fine in Norway, equivalent to 10 per cent of its revenues, after officials concluded it had shared user data without consent. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority said the app did not inform users that sensitive personal information could be shared with advertising companies.
Facebook News launched in the UK today. Global Affairs VP Nick Clegg, writing in the Daily Telegraph, says this is “a big shift in Facebook’s approach to journalism — a dedicated place within the Facebook app featuring news from national outlets including The Telegraph Media Group, The Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Mail Group, Sky News, Channel 4 News, The Economist, The Mirror, The Independent, hundreds of local news sites, and lifestyle ones including GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue and many more”. This is the first expansion of the service beyond the US, with France and Germany next in line, and is good news for publishers in terms of providing an extra revenue stream.