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Infotainment systems to drive car HDD shipments

Posted: 02 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:storage solution? car infotainment systems? HDD shipments?

With the explosion of digital multimedia infotainment systems in cars, market research firm iSuppli Corp. forecasts that shipments of HDDs for automotive infotainment systems are expected to reach 16.6 million units by 2013, nearly five times the 3.5 million in 2006.

Automotive HDD shipments will rise at a CAGR of 25.1 percent from 2006 to 2013, making hard drives the fastest-growing storage solutions for cars in the coming years.

"The expansion of infotainment in vehicles is providing users with a multimedia environment that has the capability to exceed the entertainment systems found in their home," said Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics for iSuppli. "In the very near future, vehicles will be required to receive and store broadcast digital content, from radio, TV and other data-delivery systems such as WiMAX. This requirement is shaping the strategies that are being developed by vehicle manufacturers as they look for suitable replacements for current read-only optical technologies, including HDDs."

Embedded navigation systems typically use one of three storage formats: CD, DVD and HDDs. According to iSuppli, CDs are falling out of favor as the primary map storage format for navigation systems in favor of dual-layer DVD technology. Such DVD solutions continue to dominate the market. However, both the CD and DVD optical technologies do not compare favorably with the system performance and storage capabilities of HDD-based systems. HDD technologies in (head-units) vehicles typically offer superior system performance and greater geographical map coverage with increased richness in map detail.

Established suppliers of audio playback solutions such as Alpine Electronics have seen sharply falling consumer interest in CD-based technologies, with shipment reductions of 15 percent to 35 percent widely reported.

In spite of consumer preferences shifting away from read-only optical technologies in favor of flash memory- and HDD-based media, optical-based single-CD systems will remain the default audio playback technology in cars through 2013, with nearly 100 percent market penetration in the United States, Europe and Japan.

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