According to Frost & Sullivan, automobile electronics directly influences the markets of automobile application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), application specific standard parts (ASSPs), and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The market earned revenues of $6.75 billion in 2006 and is estimated to reach $10.26 billion in 2010. In addition, rising fuel prices in the world market, feed the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles, which in turn can boost the growth of electronics in automobiles. Sales of ASICs, ASSPs, and FPGAs have also improved due to integrated solutions, which have enabled manufacturers to lower costs by reducing the number of microcontrollers in automobiles.
Mandatory government regulations to enforce safety and security have greatly contributed to the growth of this market. In Europe, regulations such as the electronic stability program (ESP), antilock braking system (ABS), and electronically controlled independent suspension will likely help generate substantial revenues. Since safety, security, engine control features, telematics, and driver information applications will likely advance in the future, the automobile ASIC, ASSP, and FPGA markets appear poised for significant growth.
However, there exists intense competition in the market, especially among well-established segments such as ASIC and ASSP. These products are characterized by higher non-recurring engineering (NRE) and take a longer time to market even though their unit and integration costs remain less than FPGAs. Technological developments can help reduce the time to market and NRE cost in ASIC and ASSP. Similarly, developments in FPGAs can lower the unit and integration costs and improve performance.