Modern life wouldn’t be the same without semiconductors. Everyone knows that semiconductors are used to make chips for computers. They’re used in storage devices, microprocessors, and GPUs, but they are also used in other aspects of life too. Lightbulbs utilize semiconductors to produce light, telephones use them, and even everyday items like television remotes make use of semiconductors.
What Are Semiconductors?
Semiconductors are materials that have a conductivity between an insulator and metals. They are often made of silicon, and they allow electrical current to either pass through or not pass through depending on a number of factors. Semiconductors allow switches to be fired on or off without any actual visual movement being made.
There are many different types of semiconductors in vehicles. Some are there as simply an on/off switch, and some of them conduct complex calculations. Others are built into the entire system of a vehicle, and some are designed to work one basic job.
Semiconductors are Leading the Future Tech in Vehicles
Everyone knows that modern cars have computer systems in them, but a lot of people don’t know exactly what those computers do. In fact, a car’s computer system is handling more and more processes with each passing year. A car computer is now a vital part of operating a vehicle.
How are Semiconductors used in Cars
Semiconductors are widely used by the automotive industry and in the following applications.
The earliest use of semiconductors in vehicles was for safety reasons. For instance, automatic emergency braking systems, airbag deployment, and braking systems were some of the first features to use semiconductors. There are even computer chips monitoring the engine, making sure the engine is as efficient as possible and to help lower emissions.
People are hesitant to use new assisted driving features in cars. Suspensions of automated driving features come from not understanding how they work. Different types of driving assistance include complex cruise control systems, automated backup parking, and more. These systems use various sensors that communicate with a computer to detect collision and instantly stop the vehicle. Moreover, such complex features allow the care to maneuver on its own without bumping into another car or person.
Infotainment systems are popular in new vehicles. This includes heads-up displays, digital gauges, and sometimes even screens for backseat passengers. None of this would be possible if not for semiconductors.
Replacing Mechanical Systems
It’s not just electric vehicles that are implementing electrical systems in their vehicles. Gasoline vehicles are also replacing certain mechanical systems with electrical systems thanks to semiconductors. These electrical systems are even cheaper than previous ones that used mechanical or hydraulics, bringing luxury features to vehicles at a lower price.
The Future of Vehicles
Semiconductors are already being implemented in all new vehicles in some way or another, but they are also set to change the way cars of the future work altogether. Electric vehicles are especially reliant on future innovations and the implementation of semiconductors.
Semiconductors can do millions of calculations per second. This enables the car itself to make decisions that people simply don’t have time to do. The traction inverter system is a great example of this. For example, this system can instantly change torque, RPM, and other traction systems to instantly get drivers out of a sticky situation. Many cars already have some form of traction control, but the technology is only going to get more advanced in the future.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Many vehicles already have anti-collision features, but in the future, cars will be able to make even more important decisions. Not all features are automated. Notably, a vehicle may alert drivers of certain driving decisions that should be made, such as switching lanes, slowing down, even alerting drivers of emergency vehicles that may be approaching.
Creating a Smarter and Safer Future for Drivers
Finally, semiconductors are making vehicles cheaper without removing features, but the primary goal is to make the driving experience safer for everyone. The average new car has a computer system that runs over 100 million lines of code, and this number is only going to go up in the future. Once the industry successfully transitions to a safer experience, it is believed that semiconductors will be used to improve the rider experience when it comes to comfort and productivity.