How many chips are in a car?

How many chips are in a car? Or, how many chips does a car need?

Honestly, it’s hard to answer. Because it depends on the design of the car itself. Each car needs a different number of chips, as few as dozens to hundreds, as many as thousands or even thousands of chips. With the development of automotive intelligence, the types of chips have also risen from 40 to more than 150.

Automotive chips, like the human brain, can be divided into five categories by function: computing, perception, execution, communication, storage and energy supply.


Further subdivision, can be divided into control chip, computing chip, sensing chip, communication chip, memory chip, security chip, power chip, driver chip, power management chip nine categories.

Automotive chip nine categories:

1. Control chip: MCU, SOC

The first step to understand automotive electronics is to understand the electronic control unit. An ECU can be said to be an embedded computer that controls the major systems of the car. Among them, the on-board MCU can be called the computing brain of the car ECU, which is responsible for the calculation and processing of various information.

Typically, an ECU in a car is responsible for a separate function, equipped with an MCU, according to Deppon Securities. There may also be cases where one ECU is equipped with two MCUS.

MCUS account for about 30% of the number of semiconductor devices used in a car, and at least 70 are required per car the above MCU chip.

2. Computing chip: CPU, GPU

The CPU is usually the control center on the SoC chip. Its advantage lies in scheduling, management and coordination ability. However, the CPU has fewer computing units and cannot meet a large number of parallel simple computing tasks. Therefore, the autonomous driving SoC chip usually needs to integrate one or more Xpus in addition to the CPU to complete the AI calculation.

3. Power chip: IGBT, silicon carbide, power MOSFET

Power semiconductor is the core of electric energy conversion and circuit control in electronic devices, which is mainly used to change the voltage and frequency in electronic devices, DC and AC conversion.

Taking power MOSFET as an example, according to the data, in traditional fuel vehicles, the amount of low-voltage MOSFET per vehicle is about 100. In new energy vehicles, the average consumption of medium and high voltage MOSFET per vehicle has increased to more than 200. In the future, the MOSFET usage per car in middle and high-end models is expected to increase to 400.

4. Communication chip: cellular, WLAN, LIN, direct V2X, UWB, CAN, satellite positioning, NFC, Bluetooth, ETC, Ethernet and so on;

The communication chip can be divided into wired communication and wireless communication.

Wired communication is mainly used for various data transmission between equipment in the car.

Wireless communication can realize interconnection between car and car, car and people, car and equipment, car and the surrounding environment.

Among them, the number of can transceivers is large, according to industry data, the average CAN/LIN transceiver application of a car is at least 70-80, and some performance cars can reach more than 100, or even more than 200.


The memory chip of the car is mainly used to store various programs and data of the car.

According to the judgment of a semiconductor company in South Korea on the demand for DRAM for intelligent driving cars, a car is estimated to have the highest demand for DRAM/NAND Flash up to 151GB/2TB, respectively, and the display class and ADAS autonomous driving system have the largest use of memory chips.

6. Power/Analog chip: SBC, analog front end, DC/DC, digital isolation, DC/AC

Analog chip is a bridge connecting the physical real world and the digital world, mainly refers to the analog circuit composed of resistance, capacitor, transistor, etc. integrated together to process continuous functional form analog signals (such as sound, light, temperature, etc.) integrated circuit.

According to Oppenheimer statistics, analog circuits account for 29% of automotive chips, of which 53% are signal chain cores and 47% are power management chips.

7. Driver chip: high side driver, low side driver, LED/ display, gate level driver, bridge, other drivers, etc

In the automotive electronic system, there are two basic ways to drive the load: low side drive and high side drive.

High-side drives are commonly used for seats, lighting, and fans.

Low side drives are used for motors, heaters, etc.

Taking an autonomous vehicle in the United States as an example, only the front body area controller is configured with 21 high-side driver chips, and the vehicle consumption exceeds 35.

8. Sensor chip: ultrasonic, image, voice, laser, inertial navigation, millimeter wave, fingerprint, infrared, voltage, temperature, current, humidity, position, pressure.

Automotive sensors can be divided into body sensors and environmental sensing sensors.

In the operation of the car, the car sensor can collect the body state (such as temperature, pressure, position, speed, etc.) and environmental information, and convert the collected information into electrical signals for transmission to the central control unit of the car.

According to the data, the intelligent driving level 2 car is expected to carry six sensors, and the L5 car is expected to carry 32 sensors.

9. Security chip: T-Box/V2X security chip, eSIM/eSAM security chip

Automotive security chip is a kind of integrated circuit with internal integrated cryptographic algorithm and physical anti-attack design.


Today, with the gradual development of intelligent cars, the number of electronic devices in the car will inevitably increase, and it is driven by the growth of the number of chips.

According to the data provided by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the number of car chips required for traditional fuel vehicles is 600-700, the number of car chips required for electric vehicles will increase to 1600 / vehicle, and the demand for chips for more advanced intelligent vehicles is expected to increase to 3000 / vehicle.

It can be said that the modern car is like a giant computer on wheels.

Post time: Jan-23-2024