"IoT and the car is like a gift for Freescale"

May 01, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In automotive semiconductor rankings, Freescale continues to fall back from its former pole position EE Times Europe asked Steve Wainwright General Manager, Freescale EMEA, and Juergen Weyer, Vice President Automotive EMEA about the chipmaker's recipe to regain market share and their perspective on Internet of Things and the automobile.

EE Times Europe: Freescale has lost market share in the auto,otive semiconductor markets and dropped in semiconductor rankings. What is the reason for this decline – and does Freescale have a strategy to better the situation?

Steve Wainwright: We at Freescale measure us against the Total Available Market (TAM), the total world of semiconductors. But there are two exceptions, and they are very important in terms of answering this question: Memories - this is a massively separate business, it has nothing to do with what we do, so we don't measure ourselves against that. The other thing is discretes, because we don't take part in the discrete transistor business. For instance we do not manufacture IGBTs. When you look at what is going on in the automotive business, you'll see that power electronics is playing a much bigger part than it did ever before. So when you look at absolute share, there is, if you will, a distortion because of the amount of power electronics that are happening. Take for example Infineon - without beating about the bush they are world leaders in IGBTs. With hybrid cars and electrically powered cars there is a lot of power electronics that we are not participating in. This clearly has an impact on market shares.

If you go beyond that and look at the markets we do care about, if you look at the analogue portion inside cars and the microcontrollers portions, in both cases in 2013 we grew faster than the market and were very encouraged in terms of what's happening in these market spaces. For a very long time, microcontrollers were focused on applications like engine management, powertrain management, body control, and braking - and those are still very important applications we are very engaged in. But the new explosion of applications is about infotainment and advanced driver assistance programs - and these got a completely different dimension in them. They