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Semiconductor Insights puts Automotive Chips in the Spotlight

OTTAWA (PRWEB) July 17, 2003 –

Semiconductor Insights (SI), the leader in technical and patent analyses of integrated circuits and structures, today announced a renewed strategic focus on the automotive sector. “During this last recession, the automotive semiconductor market has stood virtually alone as a source of steady revenues and profits for chip makers. Indeed, many feel cars are the next ‘killer app’ for semiconductors, taking over where the PC left off”, said Derek Nuhn, Chief Operating Officer of Semiconductor Insights.

“With chip content in automobiles poised for continued rapid growth, IC designers and manufacturers are scrambling to understand the unique technical requirements of this market. With 14 plus years of in-depth circuit and structural analysis expertise including reliability and failure analysis experience in harsh operating environments, SI is uniquely well positioned to help chip makers succeed in the automotive sector.”

There are four primary applications where electronic systems are deployed in vehicles today – Body Electronics (the customer visible ‘toys’ and features), Powertrain Control, Safety and Security (ex. ABS) and Central Command. To support these diverse applications, all manner of chips are deployed including analog and mixed signal, sensors and actuators, digital control, memory, and communication. New product designs along with the growing importance of safety, reliability, and comfort, mean semiconductor content in vehicles is experiencing exponential growth.

An economy car today already has 50 plus microcontrollers and a luxury model can easily have in excess of a 100. The digital car is emerging as a network of microcontrollers connected through an interconnect standard like Controller Area Network (CAN).

According to a recent study by Strategy Analytics, the automotive semiconductor market was $ US 10.9B at the end of 2002 and posed for continued annual growth of 8 to 9% for the foreseeable future. For such a high growth market, share is surprisingly concentrated – two thirds of the market is dominated by 10 players and Motorola and Infineon together account for one fifth of the total.

“With better growth prospects than most, if not all, chip segments, automotive semiconductor players should expect competition to heat up”, said Nuhn. “Entering this market may look easy since automotive chips tend to use tried and true technologies. However, the harsh operating conditions and extreme reliability requirements of this market mean new and specialized concerns for automotive chip and car vendors alike. SI can help semiconductor vendors reinvigorate mature product lines by testing commodity chips for automotive applications and design new automotive chips.”

For a free whitepaper on the Automotive Semiconductor Market, visit

About Semiconductor Insights®

Semiconductor Insights helps leading-edge technology companies and licensing professionals attain their product and intellectual property goals by providing in-depth technical and patent analyses of integrated circuits and structures.

Our international client base spans Fortune 500 Enterprises, Governments, Legal Firms, Start-ups, and Venture Capitalists. Within the semiconductor industry, we have participated in virtually every major licensing campaign over the past 14 years, and count 47 of the top 50 companies among our clients.

For more information, please visit us on the web at

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