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Semiconductors: Pioneering the Tech Drive-in Automotive Excellence

Published Date

November 22, 2023

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6 minutes

Written By

ACL Digital

The automotive industry has undergone a transformative journey, with technological advancements steering the way forward. At the heart of this revolution lies the unsung hero – semiconductors. These tiny electronic components are pivotal in shaping the modern automobile landscape, influencing everything from vehicle performance to safety and sustainability. Semiconductors have revolutionized the automotive industry, enabling various security, performance, and connectivity advancements. Today's modern vehicles are packed with electronic components, all relying on semiconductors. From controlling the engine to powering the infotainment system, semiconductors are essential for the operation of modern cars.

Semiconductors play a pivotal role, driving more than 90% of innovations in the automotive sector, which is currently experiencing a significant shift toward electrification and software-defined vehicles. This blog explores the crucial role of semiconductors in automotive technology.

Pioneering-the-Tech-Drive-in-Automotive-Excellence

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/ 

Industry Impact 

Semiconductors have significantly impacted the automotive industry, driving innovation and redefining the driving experience. Integrating these electronic components has enhanced vehicle performance and contributed to developing advanced safety features, improved fuel efficiency, and the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles.
The impact of semiconductors on the automotive industry is profound. Semiconductors have enabled the development of a wide range of new technologies, including:

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): ADAS systems use sensors and cameras to help drivers avoid accidents. These systems rely on semiconductors to process data and make real-time decisions.
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs): EVs use semiconductors to control the electric motor, manage the battery, and provide regenerative braking.
  • Infotainment Systems: Infotainment systems use semiconductors to provide entertainment, navigation, and communication features.

Semiconductors have also helped to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles. By optimizing engine control and reducing power consumption, semiconductors can help to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.

Components Used in the Automobile Industry

Semiconductors are integral to various components within a vehicle. From the engine control unit (ECU) to advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and infotainment systems, semiconductors power critical functions, ensuring optimal performance and a seamless driving experience.

A wide variety of semiconductor components are used in the automotive industry. Some of the most common types of semiconductor components include:

  • Microcontrollers: Microcontrollers are small computers that are used to control a wide range of functions in vehicles, such as engine control, airbag deployment, and window operation.
  • Sensors: Sensors are used to collect data about the environment around the vehicle, such as temperature, pressure, and distance. ADAS systems and other electronic systems use this data to make decisions.
  • Actuators: Actuators are used to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. They control various vehicle functions, such as opening and closing doors, adjusting seats, and controlling the brakes.
     

How Semiconductors are Used in Electric Cars/Electric Vehicles

Electric cars, or Electric Vehicles (EVs), represent a paradigm shift in the automotive industry's approach to sustainability. Semiconductors play a central role in EVs by powering the battery management systems, electric motor controllers, and charging infrastructure. These components contribute to electric vehicles' efficiency, reliability, and performance.

Semiconductors are essential for the operation of electric vehicles (EVs). They control the electric motor, manage the battery, and provide regenerative braking.

  • Electric Motor Control: Semiconductors are used to control the speed and torque of the electric motor. It allows the driver to control the vehicle's speed and optimize performance.
  • Battery Management: Semiconductors are used to monitor and control the battery in an EV. It includes protecting the battery from damage, optimizing charging and discharging, and ensuring it operates safely and efficiently.
  • Regenerative Braking: Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy from the vehicle's motion into electrical energy that is stored in the battery. Semiconductors are used to control this process, maximizing the efficiency of the EV.

Essential Semiconductor Parts in a Car

Engine Control Unit (ECU): It is the brain of the car engine. ECU controls the engine's fuel injection, ignition timing, and other parameters to optimize performance and fuel efficiency.

Airbag Control Module (ACM): The ACM is responsible for deploying the airbags in the event of an accident. It uses sensors to detect a collision and then triggers the airbags to protect the occupants.

Body Control Module (BCM): The BCM controls a wide range of electrical functions in the vehicle, such as the lights, windows, and locks.

Infotainment Systems: Semiconductors power the entertainment and connectivity features in modern vehicles, including touchscreens, navigation systems, and communication modules.

Electric Powertrain: In electric vehicles, semiconductors manage power distribution, control the electric motor, and facilitate energy regeneration during braking.

Some Notable Statistics

  • According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global automotive semiconductor market is expected to reach $67.5 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.
  • The electric vehicle semiconductor market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 30% from 2021 to 2026, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.
  • Semiconductors make up approximately 40% of the total cost of an electric vehicle, emphasizing their crucial role in the development of electric mobility.
  • The global semiconductor market is expected to reach $600 billion by 2024.
  • The automotive industry is expected to account for 30% of the global semiconductor market by 2024.
  • The demand for semiconductors is expected to grow by 5% per year over the next five years.

Conclusion

Semiconductors have revolutionized the automotive industry, enabling various safety, performance, and connectivity advancements. As the demand for electric and autonomous vehicles continues to grow, the need for semiconductors is expected to surge. Semiconductors are essential for the future of the automotive industry and will continue to play a critical role in developing safe, efficient, and connected vehicles.

From enhancing performance and safety to driving the electric revolution, these tiny electronic components are driving the future of mobility. The collaboration between the semiconductor and automotive industries is not just a technological partnership; it's a journey toward a more intelligent, greener, and more connected automotive world. Industry players look to ACL Digital as their go-to source for cutting-edge semiconductor solutions and services, understanding that ACL Digital's expertise is synonymous with innovation and excellence in the rapidly evolving automotive landscape. From spearheading advancements in safety, performance, and connectivity to addressing the growing demand for electric and autonomous vehicles, ACL Digital is a trusted partner, ensuring its customers stay at the forefront of automotive technology.
 

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