Acquisitions jumble up auto semiconductor rankings

Acquisitions jumble up auto semiconductor rankings

Market news |
By Rich Pell

The latest figures from market research company value the global market for automotive semiconductors in 2015 at $29 billion, up a mere 0.2 % from the year before. The much discussed acquisition of Freescale through NXP, already before the before the merger each one a heavyweight in this market, catapulted NXP to the pole position with combined sales of $4.2 billion.

Before the merger, NXP had a market share of 6.4%; through the takeover the share climbed to 14.4%. With sales growth of 125%, it can be expected that this share has still some upside potential.

“The acquisition of Freescale by NXP created a powerhouse for the automotive market”, commented Ahad Buksh, automotive semiconductor analyst for IHS Technology. “NXP increased its strength in automotive infotainment systems, thanks to the robust double-digit growth of its i.MX processors. The company’s analog integrated circuits also grew by double digits, thanks to the increased penetration rate of keyless-entry systems and in-vehicle networking technologies.”

For the time ahead, NXP will target the markets for machine vision and sensor fusion – both at least as promising as the ancestral markets of radar, engine control and communication systems.

Infineon, always a candidate for the number one position in the automotive semiconductor market, could secure the second place through the takeover of International Rectifier (IR). With IR on board, Infineon has an even stronger position than before in power electronics. But the Bavarians also hold a significant share of the chips for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and radar sensors. The company’s TriCore 32-bit microprocessors also reinforced Infineon’s position in the powertrain and chassis and safety domains.

Renesas, always in a neck-and-neck race with Infineon, fell back to position number three on grounds of an unfavorable dollar-to-yen exchange rate. Though the company’s sales to the automotive market grew by 1% measured in yen, it fell 12% if measured in U.S. dollar. In the segment of MCU solutions however, Renesas remains the leading supplier globally, notes IHS.

STMicroelectronics’ automotive revenue declined 2 % year over year; however, a larger part of the decline can be attributed to the lower exchange rate of the Euro against the U.S. dollar in 2015. STs’ broad- based portfolio and its presence in every growing automotive domain of the market helped the company maintain its revenue. Apart from securing multiple design wins with American and European automotive manufacturers, the company is also strengthening its relationships with Chinese auto manufacturers. Radio and navigation solutions from STMicroelectronics were installed in numerous new vehicle models in 2015.

Texas Instruments has thrived in the automotive semiconductor market for the fourth consecutive year. Year-over-year revenue increased by 16.6 percent in 2015 with design wins across all vehicle domains. ADAS and hybrid-electric vehicles were the primary drivers of growth. 

NXP outdistances competitors; Osram in the top ten for the first
time: The market for automotive semicnductors in 2015.
For higher resolution click here

After the acquisition of CSR, Qualcomm rose from its 42nd ranking in year 2014, to become the 20th largest supplier of automotive semiconductors in 2015. Qualcomm has a strong presence in cellular baseband solutions, with itsSnapdragon and Gobi processors; while CSR’s strength lies in wireless application ICs, especially for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Qualcomm is now the sixth largest supplier of semiconductors in the infotainment domain.

Moving from 83rd position in 2011 to 37th in 2015, nVidia has used its experience, and its valuable partnership with Audi, to gain momentum in the automotive market. The non-safety critical status of the infotainment domain was a stepping stone to carve out a position in the automotive market, but now the company is also moving toward ADAS and other safety applications. The company has had particular success with its Tegra processors.

Due to the consolidation of Freescale, Osram entered the top-10 ranking of automotive suppliers for the first time in 2015. Osram is the global leader in automotive lighting and has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past three years, thanks to the increasing penetration of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in new vehicles.

Related articles:
Opinion: What the NXP/Freescale takeover means for automotive electronics
NXP / Freescale: A chipmaker takes shape
Freescale takeover makes NXP the largest automotive chip vendor
How sensor fusion impacts the automotive ecosystem
Infineon takes the lead in auto semiconductors

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