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Fuel efficiency drives semiconductor content in cars

July 24, 2012 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

Fuel efficiency drives semiconductor content in cars

The shift towards more fuel-efficient conventional vehicles and e-cars has driven has led to an increased semiconductor content per car. This trend is going to continue over the years to come, believes market research company IC Insights.

Fuel-saving engines and hybrid drives have one thing in common: They make use of intelligent electronic controls to reduce fuel consumption. In the case of the all-electric vehicle, the need for electronic controls is inherent. All these factors drive the market for electronic components. During the current year, the global automotive IC market is poised to grow 8% to a total of $19.6 billion. By 2015, the market size will reach a value of $27.3 billion - a growth of 11% per year on average and well above the growth rates of other semiconductor markets. In particular electric vehicles are "chip sinks": In 2015, they will contain about twice as much semiconductors than conventional cars. 


The average semiconductor content per vehicle will be about $380 in 2012, the researchers from IC Insights reckoned. This is 9% more than last year. During the time span from 2009 through 2015, the semiconductor content per vehicle will grow in lockstep with the market at a pace of 11% per year. IC Insights believes that electronic controls will increasingly be found not only in the luxury car segment but also in the medium and compact class; the trickle-down effect of advanced technologies to lower price segments happens faster than estimated. 

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