High-end electronics provide drivers and passengers with in-car navigation and entertainment and information delivered over a wireless network. In fact, many car buyers today care more about the infotainment technologies embedded in the dashboard than what’s under the hood. This phenomenon is requiring additional storage space for rich multimedia data and advanced software and applications and is driving an explosive growth of both volatile and nonvolatile memories. Embedded multimedia cards are helping meet this demand in today’s memory-hungry automotives.
The automotive market is moderately but steadily growing. Global car sales rose 6 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2012, despite the ongoing headwinds associated with the sovereign debt problems in Western Europe and some moderation in the pace of global economic activity. Global sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are expected to grow from 78 million units in 2011 to more than 100 million units in 2018. In a recent study, Gartner confirmed that electronics are playing a major role in the advancement of automotive technology. Electronic content in cars has been steadily increasing since the first digital engine control modules were introduced in the ’80s.
Today, microelectronics enable advanced safety features, new information and entertainment services, and greater energy efficiency. The electric/electronic share of value added to a state-of-the-art vehicle is already at 40 percent for traditional, internal combustion engine cars and jumps as high as 75 percent for electric or hybrid electric vehicles. This trend will accelerate as advances in semiconductor technology continue to drive down the cost of various electronic modules and subsystems.