London, England -- December 15, 2011 -- Analysis of findings from Semicast’s Embedded Processing Service and Automotive Electronics & Entertainment Systems Service shows that ARM maintained its position as the leading architecture for 32-bit embedded processors in the automotive sector in 2011, ahead of Power Architecture, SH, TriCore and V850. The data also suggests that ARM’s lead in this sector is set to increase significantly over the next five years.
Combining revenues for 32-bit microcontrollers, embedded microprocessors, ASICs, ASSPs and FPGAs, Semicast judges ARM to have been the leading embedded processing architecture in the automotive sector since 2008, having overtaken Power Architecture (and a collection of other architectures, mostly comprising SH and V850 from Renesas and TriCore from Infineon). ARM’s presence is now established in most of the main systems in the vehicle, including airbag, body electronics, braking, driver assistance, electric power steering, infotainment, instrument clusters, radio, navigation systems, satellite radio receivers and embedded telematics. It is this diverse application base which Semicast identifies as the key factor behind the higher revenue growth forecast for ARM over all other architectures in the automotive sector in the medium term, as a wide range of suppliers work together to drive forward ARM’s position in the vehicle.
As in other market sectors, ARM’s leadership position in automotive comes from multiple design-wins across the spectrum of its silicon partners, for example in applications processors (Freescale, Nvidia, Texas Instruments), baseband processors (Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson, Sierra Wireless), Bluetooth/Wi-Fi communications controllers (Broadcom, Marvell) and simple M0/M3 MCUs (Fujitsu, NXP, STMicroelectronics). Colin Barnden, Principal Analyst at Semicast Research and study author commented “Semicast estimates an average of three ARM-powered chips in every light vehicle produced worldwide in 2011 and forecasts that this will increase to seven in 2016”.
Power Architecture was introduced to the automotive sector more than ten years ago, following the announcement from Motorola’s semiconductor products sector (now Freescale) of the MPC5xx family, as a replacement for 68K in powertrain control. Today Power Architecture is established as one of the leading 32-bit architectures in powertrain control, and Freescale has continued to expand its portfolio throughout 2011, in particular with the announcement of the MPC56xx family which is
based on variants of the e200z core, for use in applications such as braking, electric power steering and driver assistance. Semicast forecasts continued steady growth for Power Architecture in the automotive sector over the medium term, although it faces strong competition from SH, V850 and TriCore, as well as from ARM.
Historically, MIPS and x86 have not had a significant presence in the automotive sector, with the greatest success in embedded navigation systems. Semicast does not currently see MIPS or x86 challenging the leading architectures in the automotive sector in the medium or long term.
Semicast judges Freescale, Renesas Electronics and Texas Instruments to have been the three leading suppliers of 32-bit embedded processors to the automotive sector in 2011.