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EDA investor and former executive Jim Hogan is optimistic about automotive electronics, but he has some concerns as well. At the recent Design Automation Conference (DAC 2015), he delivered a speech titled “The Looming Quality, Reliability, and Safety Crisis in Automotive Electronics...Why is it and what can we do to avoid it?"
Hogan gave the keynote speech for IP Talks!, a series of over 30 half-hour presentations located at the ChipEstimate.com booth. Presenters included ARM, Cadence, eSilicon, Kilopass, Sidense, SilabTech, Sonics, Synopsys, True Circuits, and TSMC. Held in an informal setting, the talks addressed the challenges faced by SoC design teams and showed how the latest developments in semiconductor IP can contribute to design success.
Jim Hogan delivers keynote speech at DAC 2015 IP Talks!
Hogan talked about several phases of automotive electronics. These include assisted driving to avoid collisions, controlled automation of isolated tasks such as parallel parking, and, finally, fully autonomous vehicles, which Hogan expects to see in 15 to 20 years. The top immediate priorities for automotive electronics designers, he said, will be government regulation, fuel economy, advanced safety, and infotainment.
More Code than a Boeing 777
According to Hogan, today’s automobiles use 50-100 microcontrollers per car, resulting in a worldwide automotive semiconductor market of around $40 billion. The global market for advanced automotive electronics is expected to reach $240 billion by 2020. Software is growing faster in the automotive market than it is in smartphones. Hogan quoted a Ford vice president who observed that there are more lines of code in a Ford Fusion car than a Boeing 777 airplane.
One unique challenge for automotive electronics designers is long-term reliability. This is because a typical U.S. car stays on the road for 15 years, Hogan said. Americans are holding onto new vehicles for a record 71.4 months.
Another challenge is regulatory compliance. Aeronautics is highly regulated from manufacturing to air traffic control, and the same will probably be true of automated cars. Hogan speculated that the Department of Transportation will be the regulatory authority for autonomous cars. Today, automotive electronics providers must comply with the ISO26262 automotive functional safety specification.
So where do we go from here? “We’ve got to change our mindset,” Hogan said. “We’ve got to focus on safety and reliability and demand a different kind of engineering discipline.” You can watch Hogan’s entire presentation by clicking on the video icon below, or clicking here. You can also watch other IP Talks! videos from DAC 2015 here.
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