Market researcher still sees bright outlook for automotive electronics
Of the six major customer markets of the semiconductor industry (Communications, Computer, Industry/Med, Consumer, Automotive and Government / Military), the automotive industry is only the second smallest market (see table), but it remains the submarket with the highest growth rate and the best outlook for the year 2019. In the current year, the automotive industry has already purchased semiconductor products worth $162 billion worldwide, an increase of 6.6%. IC Insights has calculated further growth of 6.3% for the coming year. For the period from 2017 to 2021, the market researcher expects average growth (CAGR) of 6.4%, more than any other sector.
In 2018, the automotive industry will account for around 9.4% of the semiconductors produced worldwide. The total value of the cake is $1.62 trillion. The share of this industry thus grew slightly compared to the previous year (9.1%). Over the past decade, the importance of the automotive industry as a customer of semiconductor manufacturers has thus slowly but steadily increased.
The growing appetite of carmakers for chips and transistors is fed by the increasing use of electronics in cars: Driver assistance systems are not only becoming increasingly complex and thus devouring more and more chips – they can also be found in more and more cars down to the compact class.
In addition to ADAS, it is features such as connectivity, safety, security, comfort and the ongoing trend towards lower fuel consumption and a better environmental balance that are driving the electronification of vehicles. In addition, there are developments in the human-machine interface, which is becoming more and more complex and today can hardly do without large graphics and devices for voice control and gesture recognition.
The automation of driving continues despite some spectacular accidents. For the semiconductor market, this translates into a further increase in demand for sensors (radar, lidar, cameras), analog components, real-time computers and AI platforms. Similarly, the automotive industry needs more and more power components (power transistors, IGBTs, MOSFETs) to equip the growing fleet of hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
IC Insight emphasizes that the Automotive – Special Purpose Logic category is forecast to increase 29% this year—second only to the DRAM market, and the Automotive – Application-Specific Analog market is forecast to jump 14% this year – as backup cameras, blind-spot (lane departure) detectors, and other “intelligent” systems are mandated or otherwise being added to more vehicles. Meanwhile, memory (specifically, DRAM and flash memory) is increasingly playing a more critical role in the development of new automotive system solutions used in vehicles.
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