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Panel makers are expected to play a major role in the automotive supply chain as automobiles are turning electric and software-driven, according to suppliers.
Smart cockpits are the driving force.
NIO, XPeng, and Li Auto launched competitive EVs with cockpit innovations. Tesla and Mercedes-Benz are installing huge displays inside their cars. Smart cockpits and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) will continue to evolve and require panel makers to engage and innovate more.
According to data from IHS Markit, smart cockpit reached US$40 billion in market value in 2021 and will grow to US$43.88 billion this year and US$68.1 billion by 2030. China will take up 30% of the market share by 2030, or around CNY160 billion (US$23.9 billion), increasing from 20% market share last year.
In addition to panels, software and edge AI technologies will also be at the core of the smart cockpit.
One of Taiwan's largest panel makers, AU Optronics (AUO) unveiled next-generation LED products for automotive applications: MicroLED and adaptive miniLED (AmLED).
MicroLED offers images with high brightness, high dynamic contrast, and high color saturation by transferring millions of microLEDs onto a LTPS backplane with the industry's highest pixel density.
For panel makers to move up the supply chain, they are developing panels with integrated solutions, in response to the growing demand for customized smart cockpit experiences, according to Mindtronic AI CTO Mike Huang.
Huang added that it will take some more time for panel makers to achieve such goals. However, panels certainly will play an important role in EVs and could account for 50% of the costs of a smart cockpit solution.
Refined hardware could impress car buyers. But besides the quality, size of the display or which type of leather to use, Huang said automotive applications will be much more powerful than smartphone applications. He thinks the essence of a smart cockpit experience is the collaboration between the driver and the vehicle. Driving will be so much more fun and safer in the future.
Mindtronic AI provides automotive-grade design building blocks for edge AI applications.
Huang said the smart cockpit is an interactive experience between drivers and vehicles that will only get better as AI learns drivers' behaviors and preferences. Meanwhile, the personal data will be kept secure without reporting back to carmakers' clouds or servers.
Mindtronic AI works on creating highly personalized, immersive and interactive solutions by its "self-learning" technologies.
Suppliers have seen more talks around using edge AI computing for automobiles. Edge AI can bring many applications that were beyond imagination into life in the EV era, including virtual assistant, in-vehicle gaming, multi-screen infotainment with high resolution, self-driving, and more.
In the second quarter this year, Qualcomm's revenue for automotive products increased 41% on-year to US$339 million.
NXP also reported that automotive revenue saw the biggest increase in the first quarter this year with an estimated revenue of US$1.56 billion.
Nvidia, despite declining demand for traditional car chips, which has dropped by 14% on-year in the first quarter this year, pointed out that revenue of automotive AI chips could increase 6% to US$566 million this year.