In recent years, the automotive industry has undergone tremendous changes, and the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, driverlessness, energy storage and network security will reshape the automotive industry. From the current point of view, the new “four modernizations” (electricization, intelligence, networking, and sharing) have become the future development trend of the automobile industry, but realizing this trend is not only a matter of automakers, but also requires the entire industry. The joint efforts of the chain.
In the past, the automotive industry has always had its own chip suppliers, including NXP, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Renesas and other companies, which firmly occupy the automotive semiconductor market. However, with the rise of ADAS and autonomous driving technology, the demand for computing and data processing capabilities of smart cars has soared, which provides an opportunity for consumer product chip companies to cut into the automotive chip market. MediaTek, which has created brilliant achievements in the smartphone chip market, is one of the most eye-catching members.
Entering the front-mounted automotive electronics market
As a "latecomer", although MediaTek has not been in the front-loading automotive electronics market for a long time, its pace has been very fast and robust.
In May 2016, MediaTek sold its 6,000-dollar sales to NavInfo, a subsidiary of the company's main research and development car audio and video navigation chip set up in the mainland in 2013. At the same time, MediaTek has reached a strategic cooperation with NavInfo with a investment or joint venture of no more than US$100 million to expand the automotive electronics and car networking market. As a result, MediaTek unveiled its strategic layout in the automotive chip market.
In November 2016, MediaTek announced its official entry into the pre-installed automotive electronics market. At the beginning of 2017, MediaTek launched MT3303, a global satellite navigation system solution for automotive and industrial applications. In early 2019, MediaTek officially released the automotive chip brand Autus; In the month, MediaTek officially released the Autus R10 ultra-short-range millimeter-wave radar platform; in July, MediaTek and Geely launched the E-series car chip.
In response to MediaTek's move into the front-loading automotive electronics market, Xu Jingquan, deputy general manager of MediaTek and general manager of the smart car business unit, said in an interview with Ji Wei. "MediaTek's investment in the automotive sector is very early, starting in 2012. From consumer electronics to the aftermarket, in 2015, MediaTek noted that the automotive front-loading market is undergoing industrial changes, including the growing trend of 'new four-turn' for chips. There was no way to supply it, and it also created opportunities for new entrants. Therefore, MediaTek decided to enter the pre-installation market at this point in time."
According to Xu Jingquan, last year, the vehicle business unit became a formal business unit (BU) of MediaTek, and began to have formal customers and revenue. "At present, the revenue of the vehicle business department is still relatively small, less than 5% of the company's revenue, but we have invested a lot of manpower and financial resources. Currently, we have obtained approval from more than 10 car manufacturers and more than 10 system manufacturers. Therefore, it is expected The revenue growth in the next few years is more objective," he said.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that the special part of the MediaTek Vehicle Division is that it has a dedicated vehicle quality unit. Xu Jingquan said that because the automotive market has very high requirements for quality and safety, MediaTek specializes in bringing quality experts with experience to join the team to provide customers with the best quality assurance.
Cut into the four major areas of automotive electronics
Since the announcement of the entry into the automotive electronics chip market, MediaTek's thinking has been clear, and it has finally decided from Telematics, Infotainment, ADAS and millimeter wave radar solutions (mmWave). These four core areas are cut.
For MediaTek, because of the strong connection, low power consumption and better user experience in the smart phone market, it has been recognized by many mobile phone manufacturers. Therefore, MediaTek's car chip has priority from multimedia audio and video. Entertainment starts, and then covers network connections, communication modules, and so on.
"Based on MediaTek's technology and IP in the consumer electronics arena, we have invested relatively earlier in smart cockpits and in-vehicle communications. For visual driving aids and millimeter-wave radars, this is a relatively new area and not The certainty is greater, so we will invest less energy.” Xu Jingquan told the micro-network reporter.
Currently, MediaTek has been recognized by top auto manufacturers and partners in all four areas. It is understood that the MediaTek Autus millimeter wave radar solution has been mass-produced by the end of 2018. The smart cockpit system will be officially launched with the production model in the second half of this year. The vehicle communication system and the visual driver assistance system solution have also been delivered. It will be officially shipped in 2020.
In Xu Jingquan's view, the focus of MediaTek has always been in the consumer electronics field, but the biggest problem with consumer electronics is that its volatility is very large, and the threshold is low, so the life cycle is also short, which is not good for the company's long-term stable revenue. In the company's overall development process, it requires 10%-20% long-term stable revenue, and the vehicle products meet this trait. In the next three to five years, MediaTek hopes that the automotive electronics product line will achieve a 10% revenue scale.
5G brings new opportunities for automotive electronics
In the industry, although the Internet of Vehicles has been discussed for a long time, it has not been widely popularized because there is no suitable communication method. In the future, the emergence of 5G technology will provide a communication infrastructure for the Internet of Vehicles, and the automotive industry will be ushered in new changes.
In this regard, Xu Jingquan also believes: "The proximity of 5G commercials has brought new opportunities for the development of the Internet of Vehicles. In the era of smart travel, consumers' demand for high-tech travel tools is increasing day by day, driving smart car manufacturers to develop safer. More environmentally friendly, more mobile-connected products, and give consumers a high-tech smart travel experience at a flat price."
In the development of 5G technology, there are only five baseband chip manufacturers in the world, and the competition is fierce. MediaTek is one of the leaders, and its layout in the 5G field is also attracting attention. Taking smartphones as an example, MediaTek released its first 5G SoC chip at the Taipei Computer Show in May this year, which is expected to be mass-produced in the first quarter of 2020. At the same time, MediaTek invested 1 billion yuan to build a new "wireless communications R&D building", which is the largest chip design and data center in Asia, mainly developing 5G technology.
In addition to smartphones, MediaTek has also planned products for the automotive electronics market. According to Xu Jingquan, it is expected that the relevant 5G chips will be launched for the Telematics car network in 2020, which is different from the mobile phone.
Of course, Rome was built in a day, especially for chip makers. Xu Jingquan said frankly, “Until today, MediaTek is very strange to many domestic car manufacturers because the entire production system of the car factory is very large and scattered. The current focus is to make the car factory feel that MediaTek is a promise and capable. Car chip supplier."