Professor Seongsoo Hong, ‘Developing semiconductors for cars’ collaboration between universities and industries(Electronic Times, 20190331)

2019-04-18l Hit 521

Amidst the rising interest in developing non-memory semiconductors, the commencement of a committee focusing on vehicle semiconductors, which is considered as a promising field in the future, is receiving attention. A group of experts from the academia and industry came together for the development of domestic industries and to discover possible next-generation vehicle semiconductor.

The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers (KSAE), Korea’s largest nonprofit academic organization related to automobiles, recently announced the commencement of the ‘Research Committee for Automotive Semiconductor and Software’ on the 31st.

Seongsoo Hong, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Seoul National University, will serve as the committee chair. Industry and academic experts conducting active research and development in Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Autron, SK Telecom, Sungkyunkwan University, and Kookmin University will also take part in the committee.

The committee is focusing on suggesting directions to discover the Blue Ocean in the automotive industry by proposing innovative models. The automotive semiconductor is regarded as the key technology to realizing the 5th generation mobile communication and autonomous cars.

However, the committee reckons that the current attempts in Korea will have limited opportunities in the global market and have difficulty in achieving short-term profit.

Committee chief Seongsoo Hong said, “The global automotive semiconductor market has many global semiconductor companies such as NXP, Infineon, and ST Micro competing aggressively, which leaves little room for other companies to enter the market. Even if they manage to make an entrance, they can fall into the ‘red ocean.’ They should suggest a new computing model and lead future-oriented services and business models.

He pointed out ‘Edge Computing’ as an example.

“NVIDIA and ARM, which are System on Chip (SoC) manufacturing companies, were the key figures in opening a market of one trillion Application Processors (AP) that combines AI and IoT by suggesting a new computing model called Edge Computing,” he said. He emphasized saying that Korea should find the blue ocean in the field of vehicle semiconductors through this kind of innovative business model.

Korea is weak in the field of system semiconductors and also lacks intellectual property, which is essential in the field of vehicle semiconductors. Future vehicle semiconductors will need embedded AI implementation such as GPU and NPU, which we are not prepared for. The analysis of the committee says that whether the lacking intellectual property and key software components will be supplied by internal developments or by merger and acquisition is not even decided.

Professor Hong highlighted that the committee will try to gather a brain pool of leaders to create an integrate system of semiconductor manufacturing technology, system software technology, a new computing model, and a future-oriented business model and to make an impact in the academia and the industry with this leadership.

The committee will commence officially on the 5th of April with an opening ceremony workshop.

Translated by Kyungjin Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,