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2021 in review: Chip crisis, E/E architecture and Loch Ness Monster

Feature articles |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


The chip crisis continues to have a firm grip on the car industry, and there are already forecasts that promise no light at the end of the tunnel even for 2022. That is why the OEMs’ strategies for dealing with the semiconductor issue are very much in the spotlight. However, this is by no means just about patching up the supply chain, but also about better adapting chip design to their own needs, as can be seen at Volkswagen, for example, but also at Stellantis and Ford.

Not unlike the famous Loch Ness monster, reports about Apple’s planned electric car keep popping up, only to disappear again unawares. At least the monster came close enough to the surface at the beginning of this year, when Korean OEMs Hyundai and Kia felt compelled to make a clarification.

When two long-standing partners part ways, it always attracts a lot of attention. This was also the case when Bosch and Daimler ended their cooperation on the development of robot taxis. Our article sheds light on the background.

Passive keyless entry systems are probably what everyone in the industry is working on. In any case, there was enough interest in the topic this year that a background article on the subject from 2016 landed at one of our top ranks in terms of access figures. All those who need this secret knowledge can find it here.

The redesign of E/E architectures in cars has been a hotly debated topic for years. And it continues to drive electronics developers. This article from 2020 shows what this looks like in Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric model, but it has lost none of its topicality. 

There is still much headroom for improvement in driver assistance systems to support safety. This is shown by the interest in a development by the Fraunhofer Institute to speed reaction time.

Unlike combustion engines, battery-electric drives cannot use the waste heat of the engine for heating. Comfortable temperature control of the interior is therefore a challenge for developers. This article describes a solution approach.

Despite car manufacturers’ efforts to centralise computing resources, the number of ECUs installed in cars continues to rise, says a market study from IHS Markit.

This guest article, written by an expert from Continental, also deals with the redesign of E/E architectures. Driven by the global automotive mega trends of “connected, automated, electrified, and shared” there is a fundamental change going on now towards a centralized server-based architecture. What will it look like in the future?

Although lithium-ion batteries claim the limelight, lead-acid batteries have by no means become obsolete. How to balance them precisely is still of great interest. Read here.


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