STMicroelectronics Ranks First in Automotive Infotainment Chip Market

Defying a flat year for the global automotive infotainment semiconductor market, leading supplier STMicroelectronics NV managed to achieve double-digit revenue growth in 2008 due in part to the success of its Cartesio product, a combined media processor and GPS baseband chip, according to iSuppli Corp. The global automotive infotainment semiconductor market in 2008 generated revenue of $3.4 billion, up a scant 0.6 percent from $3.3 billion in 2007. While the average amount of entertainment and informational electronics content in cars continued to increase in 2008, the infotainment industry suffered from a 6.6 percent decline in global car sales for the year. The infotainment semiconductor industry’s flat growth in 2008 contrasts sharply with its 16.8 percent expansion in 2007.

The rankings and information presented in the ranking table and this release cover the automotive infotainment application-specific semiconductor area—comprised of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC), Application Specific Standard Products (ASSPs) and Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs). Infotainment functional areas covered in iSuppli’s market-share estimates include amplifiers, digital terrestrial and satellite radios, GPS, navigation systems, multimedia processing and AM/FM tuner and baseband solutions.

STMicroelectronics stays in the lead
STMicroelectronics massively outperformed the market in 2008, with its revenue rising by 12.6 percent to $439 million, up from $390 million in 2007. The company’s share of global automotive infotainment semiconductor revenue rose to 13 percent, up from 12.6 percent in 2007.

“STMicroelectronics benefited from the strong market acceptance of the Cartesio, with the company notching up several key design wins,” said Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics, for iSuppli. “Due to the Cartesio, STMicroelectronics achieved massive growth in the multimedia/navigation segment of the infotainment chip market, with its revenue in this area revenue rising to $71 million in 2008, up a stunning 1,320 percent from $5 million in 2007.”

Looking at the major segments of the automotive infotainment semiconductor market, STMicroelectronics in 2008 held the leading position in the audio amplifier and digital/satellite radio tuner/decoder segment and was No.-2 in AM/FM tuner/audio processing and GPS navigation receiver areas.

Rankings hold steady
There were no changes in the order of the Top-5 infotainment semiconductor suppliers, with STMicroelectronics, NXP Semiconductor, Panasonic and Renesas maintaining their No-1 through No.-5 positions. The combined revenues of the Top-2 suppliers—STMicroelectronics and NXP—accounted for 25 percent of market revenue in 2008, as both companies supply a broad range of automotive-grade silicon to the infotainment market.

Other developments among the top suppliers in 2008 included:

  • NXP Semiconductors held on to the second position in overall infotainment semiconductors in 2008 as the dominant supplier of AM/FM tuner and processor chips and the number two maker of audio amplifiers targeted at the automotive space.
  • Renesas increased its infotainment semiconductor revenue by 10 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, maintaining its position as the No.-1 supplier of multimedia/navigation logic with a 20 percent worldwide market share.
  • Freescale Semiconductor was the biggest market mover in 2008 with its revenue up by more than 50 percent from 2007 on the back of design wins with Ford for its Sync system and on the continued growth of the OnStar solution from GM.

To learn more about iSuppli’s automotive infotainment semiconductor research on this topic, see iSuppli’s latest report: Automotive Infotainment H1 2009 Competitive Landscaping Tool (CLT).