Why is the chip shortage impacting cars, and when will it end?

May 6th, 2022 by

Chip Shortage: Sourcing for Hi-Tech Component Needs

A modern gas-powered car has over 100 digital chips, and many have close to 1,000. A full-electric vehicle has about 3,000.

That’s a lot of chips!

Right now, cars are clambering at the snack bar for more chips, so to speak.

And we’re working non-stop to make sure our vehicles have the chips they need to perform.

We wanted to give an update and some context on why there are delays.

All About Chips

Automation is a key feature of modern automobiles.

Cars are communicating millions of bits of data to computer chips every second.

And all that on a single pea-sized (or smaller) silicon flake.

Much of the automation in today’s cars rely directly on those chips.

Some of the essential operations that use chips include:

  • Regulating transmission
  • Sensors in doors, tires, suspension
  • Emissions (think check engine light)
  • Onboard navigation
  • Infotainment system (navigation screen, sound system)
  • Instrument panel
  • Systems that allow for different driving modes, like Acura’s Integrated Dynamic System allowing for comfort, sport, or normal mode driving
  • Systems that allow vehicles to Acura’s Adaptive Damper System: responds in real-time to tighten up handling in various driving conditions

What’s the Hold-Up?

Everything has a chip in it today. This includes the 14 billion mobile devices on earth and about 1.4 billion cars.

Car chips are a slightly older technology than what is used in mobile or other devices.

The chips in cars need to be sturdier than most others because they’re near the hot machinery of the engine.

There’s also the rain, snow, heat, and humidity of the weather.

These factors, among others, tighten the market for computer chips used in vehicles:
Car chips are more expensive and lower profit overall for manufacturers, which bottlenecks the supply.
Because car chips are older, chip-makers don’t want to invest in machinery to make more of them (a facility to make any type of chip takes 24 months to several years).

More than Priorities

The problem is complex, and those are just two factors.

To solve the problem, some manufacturers are just delivering a car missing a few bells and whistles.

Other automakers are producing cars that, technically, are missing some chips.

Acura, however, falls into another category: we aren’t sacrificing any features or critical chips.

A finely-tuned, responsive transmission is not a bell, nor is a 21st-century emissions system a whistle. These are critical parts.

Acura has been, from the start, committed to a top level of service and also reliability, and consistent performance.

At Serra Acura, we are committed to providing only the best, optimally-conditioned vehicles to our valued customers.

For help getting behind the wheel of your next Acura vehicle – fully equipped with all the chips, bells, and whistles you need – stop down to Serra Acura today!

Hear more from our Acura experts on the shortage

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