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Analyst: Linux to lead car infotainment OS market

Posted: 21 Nov 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Linux  infotainment  OS  automotive 

According to the latest report from IHS, Linux is forecast to pass the competition and race to lead the automotive infotainment operating system (OS) market in 2020. Global sales of the Linux OS in automotive will rise to 53.7 million units in 2020, up from less than one million in 2013, noted IHS. The fast growth will allow Linux to overtake its chief rivals Microsoft and QNX from BlackBerry, added the market research company.

"The market for automotive infotainment operating systems represents a major opportunity for software vendors, with platform sales climbing to nearly 130 million units in 2020—about the size of the global PC market in 1999," said Egil Juliussen, research director for IHS Automotive. "Growth is being driven by the multiplicity of platforms in many cars, with a single auto potentially having one OS for the head unit and navigation, another for the telematics system and hands-free interface for mobile phones, and yet another for the rear-seat entertainment system. Over the long term, Linux will take the lead in this burgeoning market, as auto manufacturers and their suppliers are attracted by the advantages of the OS."

The impetus behind Linux is being driven by various factors, including open-source momentum, future cost savings advantages and availability from multiple suppliers at every level in the software hierarchy.

Another reason for the success of Linux is the auto industry's desire to control and set its own system architecture. The auto industry prefers OS platforms in which it can control direction and features. Such control is not possible in proprietary OS platforms.

The need is especially true for the Tier 1 suppliers that must control and manage the software platforms in order to retain the infotainment hardware manufacturing business. As a result, Linux is making rapid inroads into infotainment systems despite a slow start.


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