MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 2:34 pm
So the silicon chip shortage is presently predicted to continue to 2023.
Has Aptera considered a minimalist version with limited feature to require fewer silicon chips mitigating production slowdowns/delays?
Obviously, the hub motors and batteries would be required but advanced navigation, “infotainment” (I really detest that term), and self driving could be sacrificed with many buyers (including myself) to insure the early production volumes.
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 3:18 pm
The current chip shortage is mostly related to older obsolete chips, things that would be considered ‘low tech.’ I don’t know anything about the design of Aptera’s circuit boards but because they are new development it seems that they would be less likely to rely on the older and obsolete chips that are currently in short supply. Electronic components, of course, are not the only things in short supply so there may be other supply chain issues that will have an impact on Aptera’s ability to make their schedules. Hopefully the low volume of production planned for 2022 will allow Aptera to acquire the materials they need.
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 4:24 pm
The average modern ICE vehicle has anywhere from 36 to 100 semiconductor chips controlling EVERYTHING from engine timing to power windows. EVs – as they are “rolling computers” require chips to control ALL of their systems. The bare handful of chips that you suggested might be deleted would make little to no difference. The infotainment system, the navigation system and the driver assistance systems are most likely just software applications run by the same central computer.
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 4:31 pm
Interesting. I saw a similar transition in aviation not too long ago.
Airplanes went from being relatively dumb with smart components to having a smart airplane with dumb components. It made the components simpler and less expensive.
Would this be a similar comparison with the Aptera?
Does the vehicle have an OS like Android or something more proprietary?
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 6:11 pm
Aptera is creating its own operating system in-house. Crank Software is designing the User Interface between the driver and the OS (ie, what we see on the central screen).
What you describe is pretty much the evolution from mechanical to electronic control: Throttles used to pull cables that, eventually, attached to carburetors – now throttles have no physical connection to the powerplant and communicate via digital signals. The savings in weight, alone, is astronomical.
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 7:10 pm
The automaker chip shortage won’t apply to Aptera as according to the CEO of Intel is because the automotive companies are using chip from pre-iPhone era and intel says they will not spend billions of dollars to increase their productions of decade old chips. Aptera will use state of the art chips and in low volume.
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 7:31 pm
Think a minute….do you really think Tesla and GM are using old chip technology for their new model EVs…….
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 9:19 pm
Not all chips are advanced microprocessors – some are just switches or sensors – and they might, indeed, be older designs…
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 7:29 pm
It is correct that supply chain issues affect much more than just computer chips. It is not correct that only “Older” chips (I am not sure what that means) are in short supply. The major EV makers, GM, Tesla, etc. are short the type of chips needed for the most recent R&D products and in some cases those needed for R&D itself. Tesla had the foresight to forecast this shortage and prepared for it. Even that preparation is now falling short and causing late deliveries and price increases.
If you believe that BS from Intel, I have a bridge in NY or some land if FL I can sell you cheap. Would you expect Intel to admit they can’t meet the demand or forgo profit??? Much easier to blame it on someone else. Besides, Intel provides many less chips to the auto industry that offshore producers you would not recognize the names of.
You can not “Dump” the technology engineered into vehicles and gracefully degrade to to less technology as you can with some computer applications. If less technology is needed or desired, you would need to reengineer nearly from scratch as most systems are now integrated. Mr. Bolinsky has highlighted more detail about the volume of chips needed in core functions.
Aptera is fortunate that the shortage does not affect their development efforts (Far fewer needed to build a few prototypes than many production vehicles)
MemberOctober 9, 2021 at 9:52 pm
I think a partial answer to the question can be found in the Body Control video (part of Aptera’s “Makers” series). Go to https://bit.ly/3klPkfv about halfway in.
The objectives of the Body Control team are to get away from conventional main computers to control modules that entail large, heavy cable bundles to simpler, thin wire connections to a simpler point-of-action module that carries out specific actions; i.e. distributed prosessing.
The video explains it far better than I can.
MemberOctober 10, 2021 at 12:37 am
I have designed a home-automation system for my home. It is using some CAN transceivers and it is those chips which are difficult to source. I have ordered my components a few months ago and should have them delivered in April 2022 !!
Those are chips which are commonly used in cars.
MemberOctober 10, 2021 at 5:34 pm
I can only speak with authority for the chip issues with GM. The production shortage is not for CAN (A high-speed CAN, fault-tolerant device that serves as the interface between a CAN protocol controller and the physical bus)
MemberOctober 11, 2021 at 7:18 am
It’s not old chips that are the problem. Old chips are produced on old production lines that aren’t used for state of the art chips. The explanation for the chip shortage that you hear is that when covid hit the auto companies all cut back on their orders figuring that if people couldn’t go anywhere they wouldn’t be buying new cars. The consumer electronics companies did the opposite, figuring that if people couldn’t leave their house they would want a new PC, phone, tablet, TV or game console. The world only has two state of the art foundry companies, TSMC and Samsung, plus Intel which is the primary provider of chips for PCs. They have only so much capacity to build 5nm-14nm chips which are what’s used in most advanced electronics. New chip plants cost billions of dollars and take a couple of years to build which is why they haven’t been able to increase capacity quickly.
MemberOctober 11, 2021 at 9:40 am
I recently spoke to someone with a new Tesla ordered and they informed him that the car is built but has been waiting on a chip for a couple of months now.