Auto chip market: upheaval ahead

March 27, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The market watchers from IHS have published their rankings of the automotive semiconductor suppliers. The figures draw the picture of a well-balanced, stable landscape, but probably the last time because sweeping market changes are in the offing.

Renesas continues to hold the top position - for the last time probably, because the merger of NXP and Freescale is expected to create a new king of the hill in the automotive chip jungle. While the current figures do not yet reflect the changing of the guard in this market segment, it is as sure as death and taxes. "For 2015, IHS expects to see a shift among the leading suppliers in this category, given the recently announced merger of NXP and Freescale", notes IHS principal analyst Luca de Ambroggi.

But while the NXP / Freescale marriage is still a matter of the future, another merger has already taken place in this market, but is not fully reflected in the market figures: Infineon's takeover of International Rectifier will also contribute to the market change. Renesas' problem seems to be its low growth of just 4 % - the lowest one in this dynamic market which expands at an average rate of 10 % in 2015. This might be owed to the company's market penetration - Renesas MCUs can be found in 39 % of all vehicles, which does not leave very much space to grow.