According to market researcher HIS Markit, the automotive semiconductor market was worth $33.7 billion last year, up 15 percent from 2016. As car electronics are expected to increase from $312 per car in 2013 to $460 in 2022, the average growth rate from 2017 to 2024 will be 6.7 percent. The report said the market size would be worth $58 billion in 2024.
The automotive semiconductor sector is led currently by European companies such as NXP, Infineon and ST Micro. Samsung and Hynex are elbowing their way in.
Samsung announced last month it had begun mass producing 10-nanometer-class 16 GB LPDDR4X DRAM for cars. The latest product is high performance and energy efficiency while significantly raising the thermal endurance level for automotive applications. Its 20 nanometer class DRAM can withstand temperatures from minus 40 degrees Celsius to 105 degrees Celsius and added that the 16GB LPDDR4X DRAM raised the high-end threshold to 125 degrees Celsius.
Samsung has expanded its in-vehicle memory lineup with 16GB LPDDR4X DRAM and is also trying to engage in the automotive business. In collaboration with Harman which the tech giant acquired in 2016. Samsung showcased the prototype of its digital cockpit platform at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January.
SK Hynix has been running a special team focusing on automotive semiconductors which it is providing to automotive parts companies.
"It is expected the car will become the ultimate mobile device. SK Hynix has provided our products such as mobile DRAM and graphics DRAM to NVIDA or AMD, but at this point we don't have a plan to be directly engaged in the automotive semiconductor business yet", an SK Hynix official said.
The reason the importance of automotive semiconductors is increasingly being recognised is that of the advent of the smart car. More enhanced semiconductors are increasingly affecting the automotive business as many products that have roots in mechanical systems are now heavily dependent on chip based electronics.