Open standard, bigger TAM
So new products will come and companies will see AVB as a way to get
into the market. Consumers will be interested; it will just take
time for the consumer market to break. In fact, there are already
several set-top boxes, Smart TVs, and wireless routers coming to the
consumer market that support AVB.
From a financial view, locking customers into your product is easy
to understand, but how about the financials of the semiconductors?
Both the consumer product managers and their semiconductor suppliers
are interested in locking customers in, so there is some built-in
resistance to adopting a more open standard like AVB.
Automotive products, on the other hand, are much smaller in volume.
Let us look quickly at automotive sales broken down by manufacturer
as reported at MotorIntelligence.com
as shown in Figure 1
Figure 1: New Car Sales by Manufacturer in
Thousands of Units
Even in these smaller volumes, advanced car networking is not
available in all models. A subset of cars from each manufacturer
will have more advanced features such as rear view cameras,
collision avoidance, navigation, and integrated Bluetooth.
Each model of car will be on a different life cycle ranging from
three to five years. Without a standard for interoperability, each
model of car is a new design. So volumes are not that high from a
semiconductor manufacturing point of view and the development and
certification costs are high.
Compare this to consumer product volumes. Apple alone shipped 72
million iPhones, 32 million iPads, and 42 million iPods. A product
designed for a BMW 5 series has a much smaller TAM. For the six
months of January 2011 to June 2011, beemerpost.com reports
178,000 5 series cars were shipped. That's 178,000 (in six
months) compared to 72 million iPhones alone. Yes the Apple number
is for the entire year, but even if BMW doubled or tripled their
sales in the second half of their year the market is much, much
If we were able to address the entire automotive market with a
single product we would have a much larger TAM of about 50 percent
of the 5.8 million units shipped. Thus, there are clear and strong
economic reasons for a push for AVB into automotive products using
standard interfaces that can be used in multiple projects. Software
increasingly is becoming the “product differentiator,” which allows
the hardware designed and certified for an automotive product to be
re-used in multiple designs.
How will Ethernet AVB help this? Consider an in-vehicle infotainment
(IVI) system as shown in Figure 2
Figure 2: Simple Ethernet Automotive IVI