GM plans to fix global semiconductor shortage with new designs

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GM plans to fix global semiconductor shortage with new designs

General Motors aims to address the global semiconductor shortage with new designs built in North America, President Mark Reuss said on Thursday.

Reuss told an investor conference that GM is working with seven chip suppliers on three new families of microcontrollers that will reduce the number of unique chips by 95% on future vehicles.

He said that the supplier partners include Qualcomm, STM TSMC, Renesas, NXP, Infineon and ON Semi.

Reuss said that most of the GM's investment in the new microcontroller families will go to the U.S. and Canada.

In the last few years, vehicle manufacturers around the world have been dealing with shortages of semiconductor chips that control everything from heated seats to infotainment systems.

GM and other automakers have been forced to build and park unfinished vehicles until missing chips arrive, and can be installed because of shortages in some cases. In some cases, vehicles are delivered to customers without some of the usual features.

The arrival of new electric vehicles and complex driver assistance systems, such as UltraCruise, will make our semiconductor requirements more than double over the next few years, Reuss said.

He said that the new microcontrollers will consolidate many of the functions that are now handled by individual chips, which will not only reduce cost and complexity, but will also drive quality and predictability.

The new microcontrollers will be built in high volume -- as much as 10 million units a year, Reuss said.

A GM spokeswoman told Reuters that the company is trying to develop an ecosystem that is more resilient, more scalable and always there to meet our needs. Ford Motor Co and chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries Inc said on Thursday they plan to work together to boost supplies for the automaker's vehicles and the U.S. auto industry.