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Global business opportunities for smart auto lights are emerging rapidly, and Taiwan stands a good chance to benefit significantly as a major supply source if the semiconductor, optics and AI software sectors can be effectively integrated, according to Jimmy Chen, CEO of Silicon Application Corp (SAC) Group.
SAC, a member of WPG Holdings, has been engaged in distribution of diverse ICs, and has served the world's major automotive supply chains for over 10 years.
Chen said through its worldwide sales channels, SAC has found that business opportunities for smart auto lights are emerging as fast as those for ADAS systems or autonomous driving solutions.
Chen said many makers in Taiwan now perform outstandingly in making single components for smart auto lights, but they lack effective integration with the semiconductor, optics and AI software sectors. The integration will enable Taiwan makers to join the supply chains of smart auto lights for first-tier international automakers and usher in new growth momentum.
Smart auto lights have yet to be enlisted in ISO 26262 regulations, and therefore the definition for such lights remains vague. But many international automakers are planning to have auto lights with certain smart functions as standard accessories for their new vehicles, according to Chen.
A car headlight comprises light source (beam), control ICs, and optic component (condensing light with concave lens). Of them, the global market for light source is still dominated by Osram, Nichia and Philips, though some regional suppliers are also emerging.
As to control ICs including MCUs and LED driver ICs, they are mainly supplied by international IDMs NXP, Infineon and Microchip, but Chen noted that the IDMs now maintain close partnerships with Taiwan's foundry and backend houses for processing their chips into automotive control boards. He added that Taiwan also has a strong performance in the segment of optical components.
Chen said many Taiwan car light makers have long served as OEM suppliers for major international automakers, and SAC has also offered them LED chips supplied by international vendors over the past two years to support their production of smart auto lights.
Chen said Taiwan has developed a complete supply chain of auto light hardware, and also has significant deployment in the AI software sector with great development potential.
He concluded that effective integration among the different sectors is the last mile to Taiwan's forway iinto the smart auto light market.