Chip content in auto safety doubling by 2014

September 10, 2010 – Semiconductor content of auto safety systems will almost double to $4.3B by 2014, almost solely thanks to new systems being brought on board, from "intelligent" mirrors and cameras to various sensors and detectors.

Gartner analyst Steve Ohr pegs a 14.1% CAGR from 2009-2014 for semiconductor content in auto safety systems. Typical application areas in automotive for semiconductors include things like air bags, antilock brakes, infotainment, climate control, etc. In the "infotainment" category, semiconductors for multimedia entertainment systems (7.2% CAGR) is broken out as its own category, as even the most basic car models have car stereos. The big segment of driver information systems (already a total $3B market) will actually stay stagnant (1.1% CAGR) in that forecast period, as GPS-based navigational aids in cell phones usurp the need for portable navigation systems.

On the rise are "other" auto subsystems, with 16.3% CAGR in the current forecast. "Powertrain electronics, for example, include not just the gasoline engine controls, but also the motors supporting drivetrains in new-generation hybrid electric vehicles," Ohr points out in a research note. Another area: electronics in the chassis, e.g. electronic stability controls. New applications include "intelligent mirrors" with rearview cameras, peripheral sensors, lane change warning systems, and driver alertness detectors.

By device type, just about every type of semiconductor has a place in automotive electronic systems: Microcontrollers (10% CAGR) for a range of applications; ASICS/ASSPs for safety systems (16.8%) and security systems (8.4%), sensors (14%), and transistors (12.9%).


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