Kevin Parmenter, Field Applications Manger, Taiwan Semiconductor
According to Markets and Markets, the in-vehicle infotainment market is projected to reach 30.47 billion USD in 2022, at a CAGR of 11.79%. Consumers want to take the luxury, comfort, connectivity and convenience they are becoming accustomed to, anywhere they go.
A few years back, I read about customer expectations created by the user interfaces in consumer electronics becoming sophisticated yet easy to use and intuitive. When these same consumers went to work and confronted equipment in their workplaces such as laboratory test equipment or medical instrumentation or manufacturing – industrial equipment and the like and the user interface looked like a commodore 64 with fumble ware software the users pushed back on suppliers. “Why does my phone or TV have a great user interface and I bought it at Costco, and we bought this 500-thousand-dollar instrument and the interface looks like its 1985?”
Eventually, companies adopted modern RTOS on single board computers or Android or Linux, color LCD displays and so forth to fix this. The same goes for the automotive industry -- customers' expectations for consumer electronics transfers to automotive applications. Consumers want to take their living room experiences and phone experience with them on the road.
How to do this and reduce driver distraction and increase safety while providing all this to the occupants is a proximate concern. What’s driving the automotive telematics and infotainment market? Quite simply the electrification of transportation first and foremost along with increased focus on passenger and customer comfort and safety and of course regulatory standards for safety globally with application of more AI in the systems.
All these factors are driven by the need for the connected car which places demands on adjacent technologies such as 5G connectivity, charging stations, driver assistance systems. AI is paving the way to fully autonomous cars supporting the SAE J3013 levels of driving automation as its ever advancing along that path. In parallel with the vehicle with sensors and connectivity is providing intuitive interaction with the vehicles systems. Infotainment needs AI to improve the user Experience and so does autonomous driving. Infotainment AI goals are all about advancing the intuitive user experience and human interface – easy to use features and functions. With autonomous driving the goals are safety and redundancy Fast Startup and response to human and sensor inputs, central data storage including consumer entertainment files, dashcam video, Event Data Recorder and OTA – (over the air software updating) from Wi-Fi or Cellular interface, Sensor fusion and continuous connectivity with cybersecurity to prevent malicious hacking and so forth.
The common theme of making infotainment and moving us up the chain from assisted to fully autonomous driving involves the application of AI and lots of memory of various types in addition to wireless connectivity such as 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more.
For us in the power electronics industry this is very good news as everything in the chain needs more and more power processing, protection from transients and surges, sequencing of supply rails and more. The power electronics requirements range from in the vehicle electronics of all power levels to infrastructure power such as the 5G network, charging stations for EVs and sensors of all types.
The opportunity ranges from the semiconductor devices to modules and components of all types including the passive electromechanical components and complete power supplies, subsystems and converters – inverters, test and measurement equipment and more. It’s likely that the automotive market by itself is justification for wide bandgap power semiconductor adoption. The automotive market will drive the reliability – quality volumes and pricing to allow other industries to adopt WBG parts as common use.
The future is very bright indeed.