LONDON European chip suppliers dominated the 2008 global rankings for automotive infotainment semiconductors in what was a flat market for the sector, according to market tracker iSuppli.
STMicroelectronics NV held on to the top spot and managed double-digit revenue growth, mainly due to the design-ins for its Cartesio combined media processor and GPS baseband chip.
NXP Semiconductors held on to the second position, remaining the dominant supplier of AM/FM tuner and processor chips and the No.-2 maker of audio amplifiers targeted at the automotive space.
The total automotive infotainment semiconductor market in 2008 generated revenues of $3.4 billion, up just 0.6 percent from $3.3 billion in 2007. In 2007, the sector managed a 16.8 percent increase.
While the average amount of entertainment and informational electronics content in cars continued to increase in 2008, the isector suffered from a 6.6 percent decline in global car sales for the year, iSuppli stresses.
The rankings cover the automotive infotainment application-specific semiconductor area—comprised of ASICs, Application Specific Standard Products (ASSPs) and Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs).
Infotainment functional areas covered include amplifiers, digital terrestrial and satellite radios, GPS, navigation systems, multimedia processing and AM/FM tuner and baseband solutions.
STMicroelectronics massively outperformed the market last year, revenues rising by 12.6 percent to $439 million, up from $390 million in 2007. The company's share rose to 13 percent, up from 12.6 percent in 2007.
"STMicroelectronics benefited from the strong market acceptance of the Cartesio, with the company notching up several key design wins," said Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics, for iSuppli. "Due to the Cartesio, STMicroelectronics achieved massive growth in the multimedia/navigation segment of the infotainment chip market, with its revenue in this area revenue rising to $71 million in 2008, up a stunning 1,320 percent from $5 million in 2007."
Panasonic Corporation and Renesas Technology retained their third and fourth spots in the rankings, with Toshiba coming in at fifth.
In holding on to fourth spot, Renesas increased its revenue in the sector by 10 percent last year, and took first spot in the supply of multimedia/navigation logic with a 20 percent worldwide market share.
The biggest gains in 2008 were made by Freescale Semiconductor with its revenue up by more than 50 percent from 2007 on the back of design wins with Ford for its Sync system and on the continued growth of the OnStar solution from GM. It is now 9th in iSuppli’s rankings for the sector.
NXP's 2008 revenues from infotainment ICs was $ 403 million, up 4.9 percent, Panasonic's $303 million, an 8.2 percent increase over the previous year, Renesas $263 million, up 10.5 percent, and Toshiba $138 million, up by 6.2 percent.