SAN FRANCISCO—The market for semiconductors to be used in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) is expected to quadruple between 2011 and 2018, reaching $2 billion, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc.
According to a recent report by Strategy Analytics (Boston), 92 percent of the chips used in EVs and HEVs are analog ICs. Between 2011 and 2018, the value of analog ICs for EVs and HEVs is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent, well-above the projected CAGR of 7.2 percent for standard automotive analog and linear products, according to Strategy Analytics.
Strategy Analytics estimates that power and non-power analog circuits make up 78 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of the combined semiconductor market value from HEV and EV powertrain control produced today. High power IGBT used in AC traction motor inverters will continue to account for the majority of the power analog demand, the firm projects.
"Digital logic will provide the brains for hybrid electric and pure electric vehicles drive, but analog semiconductor chips will provide the bulk of the interface, measurement, protection and muscle-power for control of these alternative powertrains, creating significant new business opportunities for analog IC vendors," said Chris Webber, vice president of Strategy Analytics's global automotive practice, in a statement.
I don't think analog function can be replaced, remember the world in principle is analog! I expect higher integration analog ASSP will be seen or should be done. An analog system, although needs trimming in many cases, can be done to be stable and convergence if designed properly. A digital control however, can run wild once a simple bug or virus is there. I believe analog circuit is important for the high reliability that is needed for EV.
I agree with agk that tuning analog circuits to guarantee the same performance for every production lot is a difficult and time consuming task compared to what can be achieved by digital circuitry. So the designers are likely to switch over to digital circuits for EVs and Hybrid vehicles wherever alternatives become available.
My opinion is the designs are in the initial phases.I forecast that ADC 's and DAC's will occupy soon with microcontrollers and DSP's to drive the IGBT's. The reason being trimming the analog circuits to perform the same in all the vehicles is difficult. More over the analog circuits needs heavy compensating support circuits for temperature,voltage fluctuations and ageing.
Implementing "automatic engine off" / "automatic restart" technology at stoplights on conventional vehicles would further expand the market. I drove an Audi A6 in Europe a year ago with this technology and got remarkable gas efficiency. (I've enjoyed this on my hybrid for 5 years.) Implementing regenerative braking on conventional vehicles could also boost industry sales and save gas (my hybrid has used only 50% of the original brakes in 90,000 miles).
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