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Automotive Semiconductor, Still a Promising Market.

Typically when we think of advanced electronics in cars most of us think that the new technology is only in the high-end cars like the Mercedes S-Class. This is changing and Ford Motor Company is pushing the envelope with the new 2010 Taurus.

The 2010 model has added a bundle of nifty electronics for safety that one might expect on much higher end cars. CMOS image sensors provide blind spot detection on both the left and right sides of the vehicle. The mirrors have displays that indicate an object has entered the blind spot.

The car has a rear video camera which displays on the navigation screen in the dash for added safety when parking or backing up.

Voice activation is available for the navigation, phone and music systems. The in-car voice-activated communications system allows you to operate the most popular MP3 players, Bluetooth®-enabled phones and flash drives with simple voice commands. The car also features Sync powered by Microsoft and includes 911 emergency assistance, vehicle health report, real-time traffic conditions, turn-by-turn directions and other information

In report MP101-09, Adaptive Braking:  No Stopping Its Growth, Semico forecasts that semiconductor revenue from adaptive braking systems will grow at a CAGR of just over 100% from 2007-2012 but safety is being taken to the next level with active systems such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support. Adaptive cruise control is a truly active feature. Activate it and it functions just like normal cruise control -- with one exception. When adaptive cruise control sensors detect traffic slowing, your vehicle also slows down. When the sensors detect traffic has cleared, the vehicle resumes the set speed. Collision warning with brake support helps in case an accident appears imminent. This function will alert the driver if it senses an impending collision with the car in front. A “heads-up” display, which simulates brake lights, flashes on the windshield. If you don't react and a collision is imminent, the brakes will precharge and increase brake assist sensitivity to provide full responsiveness when you brake.

It is these innovations, all based on advanced and innovative semiconductors that will help rebuild the auto market and provide safer and more enjoyable driving experiences.

Jim Feldhan, President
Semico Research Corp.