Mar 21, 2022
Semiconductors & Cars w/ Rohan of On Semi
- BRT S03 EP12 (111) 3-20-2022
Things We Learned This Week
Guests: Rohan Raghunathan – Product Line Mgr – On Semi
Rohan graduated from ASU with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and also attended Cornell Univ for his MBA. Prior to working at On Semi in 2019, he was at Pwc as a Management Consultant in tech, and a Product Engineer at Microchip. He also had his own startup called Bioscope.
Through both acquisition and robust internal development, onsemi has achieved leadership positions in several markets and technologies that fuel its growth, including automotive, industrial, and cloud power. In 2021, to better reflect its broad technology portfolio, differentiated product lines, and market leadership, ON Semiconductor rebranded itself as onsemi.
Though there is a new look and feel, the company’s roots are foundational. In 1999, Motorola spun off its standard products semiconductor business into an independent company called ON Semiconductor. Motorola had been a pioneer in transistors, especially for commercial applications. In fact, a Motorola transponder relayed the first words from the moon to Earth in July 1969. Motorola also pioneered the automotive electronics industry, from the first mobile radios in police cars in the 1940s to automotive electric controls and semiconductors in the 1970s.
However, Motorola wasn’t the only industry pioneer to provide the foundation for the modern-day onsemi. In 2016, onsemi acquired Fairchild Semiconductor to become a top semiconductor manufacturer. Fairchild was founded in 1957 to build transistors out of silicon rather than the more common germanium. It also pioneered the planar process, making transistors more easily, at a lower cost, and with higher performance and reliability. This planar process led Fairchild to develop the first commercially viable integrated circuit in 1960, which became the foundation for many of the innovations we enjoy today.
On Semi – Phx, AZ – spinoff of Motorolla in 1999, and had the IPO in 2000
Motorolla spun off to On Semi and Freescale in 1999
Microchip founded in 1989 in Chandler, AZ, and had their IPO in 1993
Many tech and car co’s in Phoenix area: Rivian, Lucid, Atlas, Nicola, Intel, On, Microchip
Microchip – work with infrastructure, industrial, cars
On Semi – sensors, eyes on trade
Power 0 semi – on board charger lighting, power steering
Nvidia & Mobile Eye might make processor for brain, with other parts by SD Micro, & Texas Instruments
Could be hundreds or thousands of chips in new car development
Hybrids or EV Vehicle Level Z + of chips – Autonomous/AI car
Future – more semis in cars, AI in trucks
Many AI Car Co’s operate in AZ: Cruise, TuSimple, Waymo, Tesla, Uber
Many Semiconductor (microchip) Co’s in AZ: Intel, Microchip, TSMC – Taiwan Semi
Next evolution is 5 Nanometer – AI /autonomous Data Center
EV Car Co’s in AZ: Lucid, Rivian, Atlis Motors, Nicola
AZ State has advantages that recruit these Tech Co’s - weather, government subsidies, low regs, no natural disasters, no disruption to supply chain, I-10 and big freeways, easier with transportation
AZ tech and industry really grew during WWII, connection with security, move major industries inland from the coast and potential attack. More major tech establishing hubs in AZ
Big Tech Co’s like Google, Amazon, FB developing their own ASICs (in house components)
Application specific- customized chips w/ fast processing & lower costs.
Business model – IDM Integrated Device Manufacturer like a One stop shop
Then TSMC came along in the 1990’s, changed process, Cost effective
Moore’s Law – tech gets faster and cheaper with better processing power over time, every 2 years, upgrade, and size becomes smaller – ie: I-Phone better than a computer in 1980’s
AZ also big in defense industry Co’s: Raytheon, Lockheed, or adjacent like Honeywell
Semi are everywhere – every company is a tech co in some way now
Semi/Microchips – cars, phones, fridge, kitchen, i-pad, TV, smart TV, interactive advertising, AI
Mosfet – entertainment, traction, steering onboard applications
OEM – Ford, GM, Tesla - Electrification of the car, regulations to reduce CO2
Make car lighter – electronic parts
AI – autonomous
Improve steering and inner mechanics
SmartCar – more sensors, improve safety. More chips. Could lower insurance. Change whole transportation industry. Car drives you.
Fabrication facility – very clean and sterilized.
Make a chip wafer design – then cut into smaller chips, ‘dice’.
Chip Supply Chain issues – dates back pre-pandemic, circa 2019
Different semi- or microchips, size going to 7 nanometer – size of chips and capacity.
Some chips do not have to be as good range .25 micron to nanometer size could be 100x difference.
Investments in new tech, and R&D
China Trade War had impact – 2018
Semi industry did not keep up with demand, especially cars. Demand shifter to computers and data centers/servers.
Demand for cars returned 2021 and lack of supply last into 2023, cyclical of supply/demand. 5G, AI and infrastructure, capacity improving – doubled in 2 years.
BRT Clip from 3/1/2021
Tech Biz from New Tech of AI Sensors to How to Value a Tech Co
Guests: David Schie, Founder / CEO of AI Storm
aistorm.ai / www.lineardimensions.com
AI Storm is a AI company that makes the sensor tech used in common products for security cameras, traffic devices, and vehicles (cars). AI (Artificial Intelligence) common uses in everyday services that people are unaware of, and how the technology works. We also ponder the future uses of AI technology and how many industries it will be a part of in the next decade.
Full Show: HERE
BRT Clip from 1/31/2021
Vehicle 2.0 - Tech Meets Transportation w/ Atlis Motors & TuSimple
Guests: Mark Hanchett CEO & Founder of Atlis Motor Vehicles
Mark Hanchett, CEO and Founder – started 2016, tech background, worked at Axon (Taser)
Per Mark - I believe that to change the world we need to build it ourselves. We cannot wait for the government to force it, and we cannot wait for big corporations to innovate. To make this world better, we need to develop the products, technologies, and solutions that make the current standard obsolete. I believe dedication to this is what makes great products and great people.
Full Show: HERE
Robert Brown - Senior
Director of External Affairs at
TuSimple is an autonomous (driverless) truck company using AI software to control the truck with a driver riding in the cab. They are operational on a test basis from Az to Texas, and expect to be live in 2024. Robert talks about the technology of the AI trucks, safety protocol, and the process to get Gov’t agreement. Then he tells of the future of the truck market, truck driver employment.
Full Show: HERE
More 'Best of Tech': Here
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