Saturday, December 3, 2011

Automotive semiconductors - growth boosted by electric and HEV, and increased electronic content

FARMINGTON, USA: Global Information Inc. (GII) presents "Automotive Semiconductors Market to 2015 - Demand for Energy Efficient Vehicles with Safety and Comfort Systems to Drive Sales Growth" by GBI Research.

Demand for semiconductors in the automotive industry is increasing due to increasing use of electronics to meet customer demand for various features such as comfort. Consumer demand for higher fuel efficiency and more comfort, safety and entertainment features had led to the development of innovative technology for automobiles. Given the competitive nature of the automotive industry, manufacturers are implementing innovative technological processes to meet the consumer demand. This has resulted in the replacement of manually operated systems with electronically controlled systems.

For example, manually operated car windows are being replaced by power windows, hydraulic power steering is being replaced with electric power steering, and so on. Other features being included in vehicles are Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), telematics systemsto cover geographic maps, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), navigation, and entertainment systems.

With the increasing electronic content in the areas of safety, powertrain management, comfort and entertainment, the usage of automotive semiconductors will be high and the market for automotive semiconductors will increase until 2015. Sales revenues in the automotive semiconductors are expected to increase from $22.52 billion in 2010 to $32.66 billion by the end of 2015.

Fuel efficient and HEVs to to be key segments
Increasing use of electronics in the automobile industry to produce environmentally friendly and fuel efficient vehicles is expected to increase the demand for automotive semiconductors. Conventional vehicle transportation systems are less sustainable as they utilize fossil fuels.

The demand from consumers and governments for higher fuel efficiency and decreased vehicle emissions has accelerated the development of pure Electric Vehicle (EV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) drivetrains. This is because HEVs offer the advantages of lower energy consumption and reduced emissions.

Due to the regulations on emissions and fuel economy becoming stricter in many parts of the world, semiconductor devices are being manufactured to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation, as well as capture solar energy and create more efficient lighting solutions. There is also a high demand for products such as exhaust-gas temperature sensors that measure parameters associated with fuel consumption and engine emissions.

Proper co-ordination between semiconductor and automobile manufacturers - key to market growth
Automobile semiconductor manufacturers need to coordinate with automobile manufacturers to ensure that the latter's specifications are incorporated into the semiconductor product. To develop specific semiconductors for automotive applications, designers must consider important factors such as reliability, resistance to extreme temperatures, humidity, shock sensitivity and immunity to electro-magnetic disturbances. There is a lot of demand from automotive manufacturers for semiconductor designers to keep in mind.

For example, microcontrollers (MCUs) are required that protect the environment from the noise generated by automobiles at high frequencies. To develop products with such specific considerations, automotive semiconductor developers must co-ordinate more with automobile manufacturers to meet their requirements.

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