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Electrification revs up powertrain semiconductor market

Posted: 11 May 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  powertrain  electric vehicle  DC/DC converter  ECU 

Various powertrain systems contribute to substantial growth

Emissions legislation efforts in most regions around the world are the main drivers for semiconductor sales in powertrain applications, while current concepts in engines and exhaust after-treatment systems for ICEs, together with a requirement for on-board diagnostics, require sensors for their operation. As a result, the market for semiconductors in internal combustion engines was $4.3 billion in 2014, growing to $5.4 billion in 2019, according to IHS.

The engine control unit (ECU) consumes most of the semiconductor content in these applications, in addition to a growing trend toward electrification of various components including fans, water pumps and oil pumps that will further contribute to powertrain semiconductor revenues in the future.

Leading the path for growth, however, is the stop-start system, which uses semiconductor components to sense when a vehicle is stopped, and turns off the engine, thereby saving fuel and reducing CO2 output.

Transmission management systems show slight gains

Transmissions are well-established systems for semiconductors, but with recent new concepts that include higher electronics content, such as dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) and continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) have entered the market. As a result, this portion of the semiconductor market is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2014 to $1.5 billion by 2019, according to IHS. Most new growth stems from the demands on microcontrollers, particularly as a result of increased sensor content featured in new transmissions. IHS forecasts that on a regional basis, China, Japan and eventually Europe will drive the market for DCTs, while China, South Asia and eventually North America will drive the market for CVTs.

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