Car Makers Led New Research Group on SoC for Automotive

Twelve companies from the automotive, electrical component, and semiconductor industries, established the “Advanced SoC Research for Automotive” (ASRA) on December 1. Primarily, the group aims to conduct research and develop high-performance digital semiconductors (System on Chip or SoC) for use in automobiles. Mainly, ASRA will conduct research and development of SoC for automobiles using chiplet technology. Accordingly, it aims to install SoC in mass-production vehicles from 2030 onward.

Specifically, the participating companies include automotive manufacturers Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Mazda Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Corporation, SUBARU Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation. Electrical component manufacturers, include  DENSO CORPORATION and Panasonic Automotive Systems Co., Ltd.. Meanwhile, semiconductor companies, include Cadence Design Systems, Japan; MIRISE Technologies Corporation; Renesas Electronics Corporation; Socionext Inc.; and Synopsys Japan.

Keiji Yamamoto, Senior Fellow at Toyota Motor will serve as Chairman, while Nobuaki Kawahara, Senior Advisor at DENSO, will serve as Executive Director.

Approximately 1,000 semiconductors are used in each automobile, and the types vary depending on the application. Among them, SoCs are essential semiconductors for autonomous driving technology and multimedia systems in automobiles. Also, they require state-of-the-art semiconductor technology to achieve advanced computing power. 

Examples of semiconductors used in cars

Mainly, ASRA will pursue high level of safety and reliability required for automobiles by having automakers play a central role. Also, it will bring together the technological and experiential knowledge of electrical components and semiconductor companies. Accordingly, ASRA will aim for the practical application of cutting-edge technologies. Specifically, ASRA plans to research and develop SoCs for automobiles using chiplet technology and combining different semiconductor types.

Particularly, chiplet technology offers the following advantages: higher performance and multifunctionality; higher yield chips; and timely commercialization of SoCs with functions and performance optimized for end-user (automotive companies) requirements.

Image of chiplet technology

ASRA aims to establish in-vehicle chiplet technology by 2028 and to install SoCs in mass-produced vehicles from 2030 onward. By combining Japan’s technological capabilities and experience in automotive, electrical components, and semiconductors, ASRA will work with industry, government, and academia to promote domestic and international collaboration as a world-leading technology research group.