Smart Cars Driving Up Demand for Electronic Components

Smart Cars Driving Up Demand for Electronic Components

Since the 1960s, the automotive control system has incessantly moved from mechanical control to electronic operation. It initially started from individual systems as simple as electronic radios in the 1960s and since, has formed into integrated systems such as anti-lock brake systems in the 1970s and 1980s. Beginning in the 1990s, cars have carried enhanced electronic features capable of controlling the entire vehicle, such as intelligent cruise control. With the quickly developing electronic vehicles industry, along with the Internet of Vehicles and artificial intelligence advancements, the demand for automotive electronics is expected to grow exponentially.

The increasing complexity and popularity of automotive electronics are driving the growth of this sector at a surprising rate. A recent report from IC Insights showed automotive electronic systems are expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2021, becoming the industry’s fastest-growing segment through 2021.

Among the various automotive electronic components, the MEMS sensor (microelectromechanical systems) is considered a necessity. Almost all the automotive electronics systems rely on the input from MEMS sensors to process information. MEMS sensors refer to technology that allows mechanical structures to be downsized and thoroughly integrated with electrical circuitry, resulting in a single physical device that is like a system. The MEMS sensor’s high precision, high reliability and low unit price have made it very popular among automotive manufacturers. Currently, MEMS sensors account for 30% of the total sensors in cars. According to IHS’s estimate, the market for the automotive MEMS sensor will reach $3 billion in 2019. Over 50% of the market share is occupied by MEMS sensors serving safety systems such as electronic stability control and roll detection.

As one of the relatively new electrified safety systems in vehicles introduced in recent years, the tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) provides report of real-time tire-pressure information. By early recognition of a hazardous state of a car’s tires, this system can help avoid traffic accidents, improve fuel economy and extend tire life. The TPMS normally consists of motion sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, microcontrollers, RF transmitters and LF receivers. Thanks to MEMS technology, TPMS has become lighter, cheaper and battery-free. For example, Freescale’s FXTH87 TPMS family can be integrated into a 7x7 mm package.

Although TPMS is only one small part in a vehicle, the market potential is huge. Each car needs at least 4 TPMS systems with additional ones for spare and winter tires. Growing regulations to mandate the installation of TPMS is also driving the demand for MEMS sensors designed for TPMS. According to Persistence Market Research, the TPMS market is expected to reach 23.6 billion USD by 2026.

With an increasing number of electrified systems found in vehicles, the electronic components needed in a single car is likely to increase at an exceptional rate. The ongoing consumer interest in electric vehicles and self-driving cars continues to lift the automotive electronics market. For the automotive supply chain, this means more business opportunities. However, for other sectors, there may be some challenges ahead as chipmakers shift their capacity to the high-profit auto market. As industries become more digitized, we expect to witness more advanced designs and rapid obsolesces in all levels of the component supply chain.

Working in a dynamic industry requires a deep understanding of the market, strong resources, and an extended network. As a global leader in independent distribution for over 40 years, Advanced MP Technology has proved itself to be trustworthy and reliable through any market condition to provide customers with the highest quality electronic components and the very best service.