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Green movement steers automotive MCU vendors

Posted: 14 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:green? automotive? MCU?

With the ongoing crises of increasing fuel prices and environmental degradation, the need for maximizing fuel efficiency and reducing emission among vehicles escalates. These factors when taken seriously drive the demand for green optimization of MCUs, particularly when incorporated in automotive market. According to a Gartner Inc. study, it is expected that by 2012, green optimizations will account for 50 percent of the automotive MCU market.

"The hybrid and all-electric drives for cars remain from being the automotive mainstream, while fuel efficient vehicles are much more than those drives," the study said. For different types of automobiles like the common cars with internal combustion engine, factors such as weight reduction and high-efficiency design are contributing factors to make vehicles greener. Feeding the driver with pertinent details on how to go green, the infotainment sector can help in the success of this endeavor.

Getting complicated
As the electronic in-car landscape becomes more complex, a wide range of software modules drives the need for computing power. Because of this, the market researcher suggested that the MCU demand will shift to high-end 32bit products with much higher embedded memory content.

Although the study does not provide the exact details of the present market for automotive MCUs, it is expected that by 2012, the volume will achieve $6.3 billion. The demand for 32bit is predicted to increase at double-digit rates while need for both 8bit and 16bit microprocessor units will remain steady. This is according to industry projections.

Gartner said the automotive MCU vendors need to develop 32bit products to meet expectations and tap market opportunities made by the "green" trend. To improve market acceptance of fuel-efficient technologies, the market researcher suggested that MCU suppliers should focus on lowering the cost by employing functionality integration and leveraging advanced production system.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe

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