Head-unit Semiconductors and Platforms: Automotive versus Consumer IC Suppliers Image

Head-unit Semiconductors and Platforms: Automotive versus Consumer IC Suppliers


Automotive head-units are transitioning from proprietary solutions requiring long development cycles and Tier1-led interaction efforts towards platform designs. Ford set the tone back in 2007 with its SYNC solution based on CPU hardware from Freescale and the Windows Embedded OS allowing quicker development time frames and—more importantly—independence from the previously dominant Tier1 supplier. As head-unit complexity continues to increase with advanced infotainment, HMI, safety, and telematics features, hardware approaches are now evolving towards complete reference designs and open platforms from the likes of the open source automotive infotainment GENIVI consortium, Freescale, Renesas, Qualcomm, TI, and Intel. This allows car OEMs to further increase the reuse of hardware and software components while decreasing costs and time-to-market and at the same time leveraging open ecosystems of suppliers and software developers.

This study covers all key semiconductor components in automotive head-units and describes solutions available from major players like Broadcom, Qualcomm, Intel, NVIDIA, CSR, ST, Renesas, and TI. Shipments and revenue forecasts as well as market vendor shares per technology type are also provided.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

    • 1.1. Head-unit Hardware Platforms
    • 1.2. Hardware Consolidation
    • 1.3. Open Reference Platforms Managed by Consortia
    • 1.4. Consumer and Mobile IC Vendors Targeting Automotive
    • 2.1. Head-unit Platform Components
    • 2.2. Connectivity versus Computing Hardware Platforms
    • 2.3. Connectivity Solutions
      • 2.3.1. Cellular Connectivity
      • 2.3.2. Short-range Wireless (Bluetooth/Wi-Fi)
    • 2.4. Processor Solutions
    • 2.5. Automotive-grade Chipsets
    • 2.6. Combo chipsets
    • 2.7. Modular Solutions
    • 2.8. Forecasts
    • 3.1. Intel
    • 3.2. Qualcomm: Snapdragon Automotive Solutions
    • 3.3. TI
    • 3.4. Freescale
    • 3.5. Renesas
    • 3.6. STMicro
    • 3.7. Broadcom
    • 3.8. NVIDIA
    • 3.9. CSR
    • 3.10. MediaTek
    • 3.11. GCT Semiconductor
    • 3.12. Audi
    • 3.13. BMW


  1. Automotive Semiconductor Shipments by Type, World Market, Forecast: 2013 to 2020
  2. Automotive Semiconductor Revenues by Type, World Market, Forecast: 2013 to 2020
  3. Automotive Computing Processor Shipment Market Share, World Market: 2013
  4. Automotive Bluetooth Chipset Shipment Market Share, World Market: 2013
  5. Automotive Wi-Fi Chipset Shipment Market Share, World Market: 2013


  1. GENIVI Platform Vision
  2. Automotive Infotainment Diagram
  3. Intel In-Vehicle Solutions
  4. Automotive Infotainment Processor Architecture
  5. R-Car Product Roadmap