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Wire-Free Charging to Revolutionize Device Usage Once the Industry Overcomes Its Hurdles

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Scottsdale, Arizona – 18 Jul 2016 – Wireless charging promises to radically change the market landscape, particularly if long-range, wire-free technologies meet key milestones. Imagine a world in which people will never again have to make a conscious effort to charge their devices; they will charge as consumers go about their daily lives, without being plugged in or resting on a charging pad. This is the industry’s vision for long-range, wire-free charging, but hurdles stand in the way. And even if obstacles, like regulatory approval, are overcome, ABI Research predicts that it will likely be years before these technologies become a mainstream solution.

“Select retailers, auto manufacturers, enterprises, and mobile leaders like Samsung and Apple are moving wireless charging forward by integrating inductive charging into smartphones and wearables,” says Michael Inouye, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “But most wire-free charging technologies still need to meet regulatory approval, which could significantly delay product launches or even derail any momentum garnered thus far.”

The standards battle for short-range, inductive charging, and the early steps to resonant charging between the Wireless Power Consortium (Qi branded) and AirFuel is largely mitigated by multi-mode receivers, which are already leading shipments from market leaders like IDT. To supplement wireless charging in the meantime, numerous companies are advancing today’s battery technology through enhancements to existing Li-ion technology. Some, like portable fuel cell leader MyFC, even offer end users added flexibility and portability when charging their devices through methods like off-grid charging. But as wireless charging steps to the forefront of this market, the competitive landscape will focus less on competing technologies and more on the growing number of applications and use cases.

“Inductive and resonant charging remain the best wireless charging options for now, with shipments clearing one billion by 2019,” concludes Inouye. “Wire-free charging still has many questions to answer in the market. Energous looks like it will be the first company to start commercializing its claims, as it already secured the early critical licensees necessary to bring the products to market. It will debut short-range charging products that targets wearables to help seed the market before it expands to longer range solutions.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Battery, Fuel Cell, and EH. This report is part of the company’s Wearables & Devices sector, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

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2014 Automotive Semiconductors Supplier Rankings Adjusted Based on Further Analysis, IHS Says

Monday, April 6th, 2015

2015 expected to present some changes based on recent M&A activity

Leaders in the automotive semiconductor market experienced exceptional results and growth in 2014, according to updated analysis from IHS (NYSE: IHS). Now that final financial reports have been made and analyzed, IHS has adjusted its final rankings of these suppliers (originally reported in January) to accommodate some missed expectations in Europe, as well as currency exchange rates and unexpected strong growth at the end of 2014 by some suppliers.

“For 2015, IHS expects to see a shift among the leading suppliers in this category, given the recent merger of Freescale and NXP, two large players in the market,” said Luca de Ambroggi, principal analyst, automotive semiconductors at IHS. “We’re also keeping a close eye on the integration of Infineon and International Rectifier, following their similar announcement earlier this year.”

Based on final analysis of 2014 results, Renesas maintained its leadership position as the number one supplier in 2014, according to IHS analysis of reported company revenues. A strong finish to the year resulted in growth to its automotive revenue and exceeded all expectations. Key segments for Renesas include microcontrollers (MCUs) and logic integrated circuits (logic IC) categories, as 39 percent of all vehicles include a Renesas MCU, with a 16 percentage point lead on its nearest competitor. Renesas’ work in providing semiconductors in all segments, including infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), body and convenience and powertrain systems continues to lead its global growth efforts.

In second place for 2014, Infineon revenue grew more than 11.7 percent in 2014, based on its strong presence in powertrain, chassis and safety, as well as body and convenience categories within the auto sector. It also supports further electrification in vehicles through power management ICs, MCUs and modules. The complementary products of International Rectifier and Infineon will reinforce Infineon’s future position in the key growing applications of hybrid electric vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Rounding out the top three, STMicroelectronics saw robust growth of nearly 9 percent in 2014, in part due to its leadership in the Analog IC category for chassis and safety, powertrain, infotainment, body and convenience components. In addition, its second ranking in the logic IC category provides components primarily for infotainment solutions, including audio amplifiers and digital radio receivers. It also grew significantly in China, which contributed to its overall global growth in 2014. Engine and transmission management are also key application areas for STMicroelectronics, as its sensors business also is growing, including in accelerometers for airbags and combination motion sensors for future active safety applications. Additionally, STMicroelectronics is the foundry for Mobileye’s silicon solutions, which led ADAS camera systems in 2014 with phenomenal growth, outperforming expectations.

The full final rankings of the top 10 automotive semiconductor suppliers for 2014 are as follows:
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About IHS
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

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Automotive IC Market to Display Strongest Growth Through 2018

Monday, November 24th, 2014

From luxury to base models, IC content on all new cars is increasing.

Later this month, IC Insights’ new 2015 IC Market Drivers Report will be released.  The report contains analyses on automotive electronics, the Internet of Things, tablet PCs, smartphones, medical and health systems, wireless networking, and many other mature and emerging electronic systems.

The upcoming IC Market Drivers Report finds that of the six major end-use applications for ICs, (computer, consumer, communications, automotive, industrial/medical, and government/military) it is the automotive IC market that is forecast to experience the strongest average annual revenue growth rate through 2018 (Figure 1).

Figure 1

The 2013-2018 automotive IC market CAGR of 10.8% is four percentage points greater than the next closest category—communications—at 6.8% and ahead of the 5.5% anticipated growth for the total IC market during this time. The strong CAGR for automotive ICs is partly due to the fact that this market is growing from a smaller base compared to the communications, computer, and consumer segments (Figure 2) and partly because a steady and significant increase in IC content is expected onboard all new cars—luxury level to base models—throughout the forecast period. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, mandatory backup cameras, and various driver assist systems will keep the automotive IC market dynamic through 2018.

Figure 2

Other highlights about the automotive IC market revealed in the new 2015 IC Market Drivers Report include the following:

The total automotive IC market is expected to grow 15% to $21.7 billion in 2014, compared to a 1% increase registered in 2013.

Asia-Pacific is forecast to surpass Europe as the largest market for automotive ICs beginning in 2016 and is forecast to be the strongest region for automotive IC market growth through 2018 (20.0% CAGR).

Analog ICs and MCUs remain the two largest IC product categories within the automotive IC market.

The automotive memory IC market is forecast to more than double from an estimated $2.0 billion in 2014 to $4.2 billion in 2018.

NOTE: IC Insights is currently taking orders for the 2015 IC Market Drivers Report, which will be released later this month.  If you need to fully understand the driving forces behind IC market growth, you need to subscribe to the 2015 IC Market Drivers Report.

Report Details:  The 2015 IC Market Drivers Report

IC Market Drivers 2015—A Study of Emerging and Major End-Use Applications Fueling Demand for Integrated Circuits examines the largest, existing system opportunities for ICs and evaluates the potential for new applications that are expected to help fuel the market for ICs.

IC Market Drivers is divided into two parts.  Part 1 provides a detailed forecast of the IC industry by system type, by region, and by IC product type through 2018.  In Part 2, the IC Market Drivers Report examines and evaluates key existing and emerging end-use applications that will support and propel the IC industry through 2018.  Some of these applications include the Internet of Things, automotive electronics, smartphones, personal/mobile computing (including tablets), wireless networks, digital imaging, and a review of many applications to watch—those that may potentially provide significant opportunity for IC suppliers later this decade.  The 2015 IC Market Drivers Report is priced at $3,390 for an individual-user license and $6,490 for a multi-user corporate license.

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Flurry of Mergers and Acquisitions Reshape the Automotive Semiconductor Supplier Landscape

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Capped by last week’s announcement that Qualcomm Inc. would buy CSR PLC, the automotive semiconductor industry recently has been undergoing a wave of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity that has shaken up the competitive order of the market, according to IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).

In two major deals announced in August, Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG said it would acquire U.S.-based International Rectifier Corp., while On Semiconductor Corp. sealed a deal to acquire fellow American firm Aptina Imaging Corp.

With the International Rectifier deal, Infineon bolstered its No. 2 rank in the global automotive semiconductor business and helped it to close the gap on the market leader, Renesas of Japan. Following the acquisition, Infineon trails Renesas by just $288 million, down from nearly $500 before Infineon bought International Rectifier, based on ranking data from 2013.

Meanwhile, the Aptina acquisition expanded On’s automotive semiconductor revenue by $183 million, allowing On to move up one position to eighth place in the market, also based on 2013 ranking data.

The purchase of the U.K.’s CSR will allow California-based Qualcomm to enhance its market share. Qualcomm ranked No. 43 in 2013, while CSR came in at 23. The two companies combined would have ranked at No. 19 in 2013.

“While these three M&A deals differ in their specific goals and benefits, all have the same strategic objective: expanding market share in the lucrative business for semiconductors used in automobiles,” said Ahad Buksh, analyst for automotive semiconductors at IHS. “The automotive supply is adding new infotainment, communications and driver-assist functionality at a rapid pace, causing related semiconductor revenue to rise 5 percent to reach $26 billion in 2013. Suppliers are buying up competitors to gain scale in the market, to add key capabilities and to capitalize on established customer relationships.”

Data in this press release was derived from the report entitled “Competitive Landscaping Tool CLT – Automotive – Q3 2014” from the Automotive Semiconductor service at IHS Technology.

Clash of the top 10 titans

The attached figure presents the IHS ranking of the world’s top 10 suppliers of automotive semiconductors in 2013, showing the impact from the recent acquisitions.

All of these 10 companies increasingly are investing in automotive, having identified the area as a strategic field of expansion. At the same time, most of these companies are divesting from other markets, such as wireless and consumer electronics.

The strong positions held by the top 10 suppliers are the result of decades of investment to meet the specific requirements of leading customers. These requirements include high product quality and strong service support. IHS believes that automotive manufacturers will tend to maintain long-term relationship with these established semiconductor suppliers.

To Infineon and beyond

Infineon’s acquisition of International Rectifier not only will diversify the former’s product portfolio but also will make it a bigger threat to Renesas.

Last year was great for both Infineon and International Rectifier, with automotive-related revenue at the two companies rising by 11.7 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively. In contrast, the declining exchange rate of Japanese yen vs. the U.S. dollar meant that Renesas suffered a 14.2 percent drop in automotive revenue in 2013. What used to be a lead of more than $1.2 billion for Renesas over Infineon in 2012 eroded by 60 percent.

Once the International Rectifier acquisition is complete, Renesas’ lead will shrink further.

International Rectifier’s strong presence in low-power insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), power modules and power metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) will boost Infineon into the top spot in the discrete integrated circuit (IC) category. This particularly reinforces Infineon’s position in the fast growing hybrid and electric vehicle segment. Intelligent power switches, data converters and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) from International Rectifier also will complement Infineon’s portfolio and will generate economies of scale. Even though Infineon’s second position in analog ICs won’t change, the acquisition will help it close in on the top player in the segment, STMicroelectronics.

On the acquisition hunt

Aside from bringing On Semiconductor closer to the $1 billion mark in automotive semiconductors, Aptina’s sensor business is of strategic importance, as it was a weak spot in On’s portfolio. Now, On Semiconductor can count itself the leading supplier of complementary-metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging sensors, which serve as the eyes of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in vehicles. The rapid adoption of ADAS will drive markets for automotive image sensors to attain 10 percent growth per year from 2013 to 2020, making it a good investment for On.

Qualcomm boosts automotive market share with CSR acquisition

Qualcomm’s acquisition of CSR is more about buying—and as a result, enlarging—market share in automotive than about complementing Qualcomm’s product portfolio.

With the purchase, Qualcomm will become the world’s fourth-largest supplier of ASICs for automotive infotainment, with a 10 percent market share. In 2013, the company ranked 11th with a market share of 2.7 percent, unchanged from 2012 and 2011.


About IHS (www.ihs.com)

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

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GaN LEDs in Automotive to Reach $1 Billion in 2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The market for GaN packaged LEDs in automotive applications is forecast to reach the $1 billion mark this year for the first time, according to the latest research from the LED Intelligence Service of IHS Technology.

Industry revenue is projected to grow 11 percent from $943 million in 2013 to $1.05 billion in 2014. Growth comes from the exterior applications in the vehicle such as headlamps and daytime running lights, where LED penetration is still low, but the LED value per vehicle can be quite high. Osram, Nichia and Lumileds are ranked by IHS as the leading three suppliers to the market and are particularly dominant in exterior applications.

Audi has been a leader in the use of LEDs in its vehicles (especially in daytime running lights) since 2008, and many other manufacturers have followed the steady trend toward more LED. However, many vehicles that do not use LED lighting still remain, even at the high end of the market. For example, the cutting-edge Tesla Model S retailing for approximately $100,000 does not yet have LED headlamps. Moreover, daytime running lights, cornering lights and indoor ambient lights are only available as an option rather than as standard.

LED lighting should increase in vehicles over the next several years, IHS anticipates, and the market is forecast to grow further to $1.3 billion in 2018. In addition to the research carried out by its LED team, IHS also has a large automotive team of analysts and a teardown team currently working on a Tesla Teardown project. The teardown project offers analysis on 12 key electronic vehicle parts, including an in-depth exploration of the premium media control unit, the instrument cluster and other body control modules.

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Shipments of OEM embedded telematics systems will grow to 54.5 million worldwide in 2020

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

According to a new research report by Berg Insight, shipments of OEM embedded telematics systems worldwide are forecasted to grow from 8.4 million units in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.6 percent to reach 54.5 million units in 2020. Moreover, Berg Insight forecasts that the number of cars sold worldwide equipped with head-units featuring handset-based telematics capabilities will grow from 7.0 million in 2013 to 68.5 million in 2020. Telematics is a broad term that may be applied to a wide range of connected services in the automotive industry. Berg Insight’s definition of a car telematics system is an automatic system designed for passenger cars that incorporates some form of cellular communication. Automotive manufacturers can choose between several connectivity options when creating connected car services, which are not mutually exclusive. The main options today are embedded telematics devices, tethered handsets and integrated smartphones. Car manufacturers often use a combination of these options to support different customer needs and keep pace with the rapid development of mobile technology.

Connected car services are gaining momentum globally after many years of development and gradual rollout. The drivers behind adoption of telematics systems among car manufacturers are both commercial and regulatory. Safety regulations that aim to make automatic emergency calls with vehicle location mandatory in all new cars are for instance being adopted in the EU and Russia with the eCall and ERA-GLONASS initiatives respectively. In other markets such as North America and Japan, commercial services have driven adoption of OEM telematics services that have evolved from being a differentiator to a mainstream feature offered by most car brands.

Several categories of connected car services are now offered by leading car manufacturers. Examples include emergency call and roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking (SVT), vehicle diagnostics, connected navigation and infotainment, as well as convenience applications. Convenience applications for instance include remote control of vehicle functions such as door lock/unlock and air conditioning, vehicle status and finding the last parking position. Several other applications also exist, for instance usage-based insurance, leasing and rental fleet management, as well as electronic toll collection and road charging. Most telematics services can be supported by any connectivity type, although embedded connectivity is the most suitable option for applications including emergency call, SVT and convenience applications. There are many business rationales for car telematics, ranging from monetary savings for the car owner in the case of SVT and usage-based insurance, to product differentiation, improved customer relationship management, potentially lower costs of product recalls and soft value creation for the car OEM.

Berg Insight forecasts that the number of telematics service subscribers using embedded systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38.1 percent from 16.6 million subscribers in 2013 to 158.9 million subscribers in 2020. “A key factor that influences the growth in active subscribers is the length of the free trial period included in the price of new cars”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. He adds that the free period now typically ranges from 6–12 months in the case of Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen to 3 years for Hyundai and 10 years for BMW. “Renewal rates for telematics subscriptions after the free period expires are presently relatively low”. However, car brands are now launching cloud-based telematics services that facilitate customisation of service packages to better meet the needs of individual customers. Several car manufacturers have app stores that enable car owners to download apps directly to the infotainment system of the car. “New split-billing solutions being introduced by telecom operators also increase flexibility in business models for car manufacturers offering connected car services to their customers”, said Mr Malm. Split-billing can for example enable car manufacturers to bundle services such as eCall, roadside assistance and diagnostics for the lifetime of the car, while high bandwidth applications like infotainment and car hotspot features are billed separately.

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Automotive Industry Growth, Product Cadence Highlight Opportunities through 2025, According to IHS Automotive

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The accelerated velocity of the global automotive industry is expected to continue in the near term and portfolio expansion into new body styles is driving higher volume per platform as well, according to IHS Automotive, a leading global source of critical information and insight to the global automotive industry.

As a result, the speed of change requires the supply base – as they plan for the road ahead– to be nimble, adaptive to change and strategic about logistics decisions such as facility locations, transportation methods and costs. Technology implementation decisions are also taking place based on legislative agendas driving decisions, and suppliers determining which OEMs to engage with while keeping pace with fast-changing technology developments.

“Suppliers are navigating these changes based on decisions made more swiftly than ever before,” said Michael Robinet, managing director, IHS Automotive, during a presentation before an audience of automotive executives today at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars.

Global Platform Strategy Paying Off, Technology Opportunities Prevail

The global platform phenomenon is legitimate and the largest OEMs are implementing strategies to expand their business – both geographically and within their portfolio, according to Robinet.

Through 2025, OEMs and suppliers alike — at all levels of the supply chain — will be working to align global platforms with global capacity, manufacturing and technology implementation and manage new logistics challenges efficiently to match the needs of the industry.

OEMs are no longer launching vehicles by region; they’re often launching the same vehicle at several facilities around the world – within a tightening timeframe. In addition, the integration of global platforms into North America, China and South America increases the cycle velocity.

In addition, OEMs and suppliers also are working to implement increasingly complex vehicle and process technology for advanced safety, lighter weight materials, emissions reduction and fuel economy targets in tandem with a global convergence of emissions standards that will further enable the efficiency of global platforms.

The North American market is returning to stability, with record sales reports continuing among most automakers. Together with increased consumer confidence, a return to a more normal economic environment and some great OEM products in the overall lineup, it’s an exciting time again for the automotive industry — in North America and globally, Robinet said. IHS Automotive expects 21 new program launches in 2015, scaling to a near-record 37 in 2018, based on current plans. Suppliers are now preparing for this from a skills and capacity perspective and may see some challenges.

Shift Creates New Center of Industry in North America

An interesting development that’s been transpiring since 2000 is the influx of automotive production and capacity in the Midwest and southeast U.S., as well as Mexico – which creates some challenges for suppliers and their logistics processes. A number of OEMs have recently expanded or announced plans for new facilities in the southeast, as well as Mexico. This is prompting suppliers to re-think their strategy and identify opportunities to create the most value for OEMs, while keeping costs in check and supply disruptions to a minimum.

“Our analysis indicates that the center of North American automotive manufacturing has shifted about 14 miles to the south each year since 2000, and we expect that to continue through 2026,” Robinet said. (see attached IHS Automotive diagram for detail).

This geographical shift creates significant opportunities for suppliers to address the challenges laid out for logistics and manufacturing, given OEM preference and requirements to locate within a few hours’ (and sometimes one hour) driving distance from their final assembly facilities. Suppliers and OEMs are evaluating their logistics channels to help address the shift, at the same time they are working to maintain an uptick in production levels across most platforms.

”A swiftly changing industry, combined with a need for reduced logistics costs, is also driving the establishment of new and expanded supplier production facilities in strategic locations,” Robinet said.

Global Growth and Outlook through 2021

The strong recovery of the industry brings a new energy to the global market. According to current IHS Automotive forecasts, new light vehicle production in 2014 is on track to reach 17 million units in North America, and 87.7 million units globally. By 2021, production is expected to reach 106.3 million globally and 18.5 million in North America, respectively.


About IHS Automotive (www.ihs.com/automotive)

IHS Automotive, part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), offers clients the most comprehensive content and deepest expertise and insight on the automotive industry available anywhere in the world today. With last year’s addition of Polk, IHS Automotive now provides expertise and predictive insight across the entire automotive value chain from product inception—across design and production—to the sales and marketing efforts used to maximize potential in the marketplace. No other source provides a more complete picture of the global automotive industry. IHS is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

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Automotive Industry Playing an Increasing Role in the Optoelectronic Component Market

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The optoelectronic component market has been dominated by a number of applications in recent years. For LEDs, backlighting and the emergence of solid state lighting are the main applications. In the optocoupler and photo relay markets focus has been on the industrial sector, while the infrared component and sensor markets are dominated by the consumer and telecommunications sectors. With car ownership increasing in less economically developed regions and vehicles becoming more technologically advanced, the automotive sector is playing an increasingly important role across all the major opotoelectronic component product types.

Following a new European Union Directive 2008/89/EC, which required after 2011 all new models of car to be fitted with DRL (daylight running lamps), adoption of LEDs in automotive exteriors has significantly increased. Due to the long lifetime and energy efficient nature of LEDs, penetration in this area of the market was high and has helped drive adoption of LEDs.

Penetration of LEDs in headlamp units is still relatively low, with only 2% of car headlamps using LEDs in 2013 according to figures from IHS Automotive. As their popularity, performance and efficiency grow, this set to increase to 17% in 2019. This will bring significant growth to the LED market, with packaged LEDs for automotive exterior lighting set to grow at a CAGR of over 8%.

With the spread of technological advancements in the automotive industry, the adoption of infrared components has increased, with a wide range of automotive applications including auto head lamps, automatic windscreen wipers, gesture control, and night vision displays. A number of manufacturers are putting increasing emphasis on this sector, due to the relatively low competition in comparison to the consumer sector. Infrared revenues in this sector are forecast to increase from $118 million in 2013 to $207 million in 2019. It is unlikely these technologies will become standard features in lower cost models; however, their penetration in mid-tier models is constantly increasing.

The increase in sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and full electric vehicles (EV) is also promoting growth in the optocoupler market. Optocouplers are used in HEV’s to isolate the onboard chargers and other high-voltage systems. With HEV shipments growing at a CAGR of 18% through to 2019 and little price erosion due to the significant barriers to entry, this market is a lucrative one for those manufacturers that can operate here. The market is forecast to nearly double from $74 million in 2013 to $146 million 2019.

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Multi-standard wireless charger adoption by General Motors to drive sales of enabled smartphones

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Key Points

  • Adoption of in-cabin wireless power transmitters which support multiple standards is predicted to accelerate in 2015.
  • 50 million wireless charging enabled mobile phones are forecast to ship in 2014. Adoption is predicted to accelerate further as infrastructure supporting multiple standards expands.
  • Consumer and OEM frustration and confusion over incompatible wireless charging solutions driven by competing standards will ease as multi-standard solutions develop further.

IHS Analysis
Solutions to remove barriers for adoption of wireless charging driven by competing standards are finally being implemented in commercial applications. Whilst solutions to enable wireless charging products which support multiple standards have been commercially available for a while, this is one of the first examples of a multi-mode wireless charging transmitter in production. Whilst this will amount to relatively low shipments of wireless charging transmitter units over the next five years, we believe it is a significant move in both increasing wireless charging awareness and infrastructure as well as the use of a solutions that provides interoperability for the user.
Providing multi-standard support helps GM future-proof the vehicles rather than implementing just one standard at a time where multiple standards are battling for domination in both infrastructure and end-equipment. We see this as a smart move by GM and one which is likely to be followed by other OEMs in the short-term.

PMA’s Infrastructure expands without penalising existing Qi adopters
Powermat’s wireless charging technology is built to the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) specification. Infrastructure for PMA based wireless charging is increasing, demonstrated most recently in announcements from Starbucks regarding a nationwide rollout of Powermat charging stations in its US stores. A large number of wireless charging enabled mobile phones, tablets and other consumer electronic devices, however, use solutions based on the longer established Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) ‘Qi’ standard. With many consumers already owning devices and wireless chargers that use the Qi standard this causes added frustration and confusion as products built to different standards are incompatible with each other. It may be comforting to these consumers that the full-size models from General Motors (GM) will support both PMA and Qi enabled devices.

Background

General Motors and Powermat announced yesterday that wireless charging technology will be adopted in a number of Cadillac models starting with the 2015 model ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall. Wireless charging support for Powermat and other wireless charging systems will be provided. IHS forecasts that almost 67,000 Cadillac ATS models will be sold globally in 2015 with this growing to almost 78,000 in 2018. It’s likely only a small number of these, however, will initially be sold with the optional wireless charging. Following its introduction into the ATS, wireless charging technology will also be added as an option to CTS, Escalade and other full-size GM models later this year.

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Private Auto Installed Base in North America to Fall by 16% by End of 2030

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Today, around half the world’s population lives in urban areas but this is expected to increase substantially during the next 10 years. Continued urbanization will place unsustainable pressures on urban infrastructure and services and cause other serious problems such as increased vehicle congestion which extends commuting times and increased pollution levels which detrimentally effects the environment.

Although car sales in many emerging markets are expected to grow strongly during the next 10 to 20 years as the standards of living of the new middle classes increase, there is, nevertheless, a strong possibility that sales in developed markets are approaching a plateau and that a historic “peak” in the total number of vehicles sold in these markets may be reached towards the end of the next decade.

There is already evidence in some countries such as the US and Germany that the number of cars per household is declining as is the number of young people learning to drive. ABI Research forecasts that the installed base of private cars in North America will fall to around 120 million vehicles by 2030 as various alternatives to car ownership become available.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Automotive Infotainment, Commercial Vehicle Telematics, and Automotive Safety and Autonomous Driving Research Services.

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