What’s driving (if you pardon the pun) the rise in automotive electronic content? Figure 1 shows the forecast for the next few years, but we’ve seen a steady rise in the number and complexity of electronic modules in vehicles for several decades:
- Increasingly stringent emissions and fuel-economy regulations continue to be implemented worldwide.
- Consumer appetite is more voracious than ever for convenience and safety features such as electric seats, mirrors, cruise control, LED lighting, antilock braking (ABS), and electronic stability control (ESC).
- In high-end vehicles, broadband wireless connectivity has connected the vehicle to a vast range of external services: infotainment; internet weather and traffic information; GPS; and communications services like GM’s OnStar.
1. As vehicles add more electronic systems to meet consumer demand and satisfy new regulations, the per-vehicle semiconductor content will steadily ramp up. (Source: TI “Get on the fast-track with automotive system innovation with Texas Instruments” PDF, p. 2)
Two emerging markets are now beginning to make their mark on electronic content—electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles.