Automotive semiconductor market to double, Semicast predicts
January 20, 2011 // Christoph Hammerschmidt
The market research company Semicast predicts strong growth for chips and power semiconductors in the automotive market. Main demand drivers are the continued pervasion of electronics into almost all vehicle systems. The highest growth will be seen in the powertrain segment.
According to Semicast, the market volume for automotive semiconductors will almost double during the timeframe between 2010 and 2017: From $20 billion to $39 billion on a global basis. This translates into an average growth rate of almost 20 percent.
In its report Automotive Market for Semiconductors 2011 Edition, Semicast denotes the sharp decline in 2009 as an anomaly. The market for automotive chips normally grows with remarkable consistency, the report says.
The current uptrend in automotive semiconductor demand is directly attributed to the extremely strong growth in light vehicle production in the emerging markets, particularly in China. Other geographies with increasing demand for cars are Brazil, Russa and India; also the market in North America has recovered, observes Semicast Principal Analyst Colin Barnden. In China alone, light vehicle production will double from 10 million units in 2010 to 20 million units in 2017.
In the long term, the demand for semiconductors for cars will exceed the production rate for light cars. In other words, the vehicles will contain a growing semiconductor content: While the production of light vehicle production is forecasted to climb by three percent annually, the production of the related semiconductors will rise at a rate of eight percent per year.
There are several sources that feed this trend. The cars need to become more environmentally friendly, Barnden says. This can be achieved by electronic controls that improve the overall fuel efficiency. Other demand drivers are safety and mobile connectivity as well as infotainment and navigation where increasingly sophisticated solutions will be seen.
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