Taiwan ICT industry gaining momentum with growing connected car technology investments

Staff reporter 0

Consumers are connected anywhere and anytime through their smartphones or other mobile devices. They rely on that connectivity to get the latest information. Such a trend is spreading to automotive world. The race to build the smart connected car, and ultimately the self-driving vehicle, is already under way. The telematics systems as well as integration with cloud services are driving carmakers to develop new ways to improve user experience and enable new business opportunities.

On June 1, 2017, Digitimes hosted the Smart Car and Internet of Vehicle technology forum, providing a platform for exchanging of views amongst Taiwan's electronics manufacturers and component suppliers. It was held during Computex to allow the participants to also get a closer look at the products and services showcased at the annual tradeshow, and get in touch with component suppliers and service providers.

The keynote speakers of the forum touched on topics covering in-vehicle video surveillance systems, telematics service platforms for advanced vehicle components and parts management, V2X and eSIM.

ADAS boosting Taiwan millimeter wave sensors and camera modules makers

Jessie Lin, a Digitimes Research analyst, talked about the development of smart car systems in terms of the global supply of sensor systems and computing performance. She noted that there are major sensor systems including camera modules, millimeter wave radars and LiDAR for existing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) development. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of all these sensors is 28% from 2017 to 2020. The total share of combining long range and short range millimeter wave radars will exceed 50%. The new design of ADAS will install from one long range, four short range radars to one long range, six short range ones. The demands are going to increase and the price going down.

In terms of computing power, as showcased by Nvidia in its product launches from 2015 to 2017 during Consumer Electronics Show (CES), she pointed out the technology migration from in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), ADAS to recent artificial intelligence (AI) technology-based self-driving supercomputer system. The speed of processing pictures per second is from 20 to 4000. And Audi claims it will reach the level 4 for autonomous car development by 2020 leveraging Nvidia systems. Meanwhile, the connected car 2.0 specifications and early commercialization of 5G services will also be available by 2020. The coming few years of connected car development will be a key turning point of the car industry.

ThroughTek’s video surveillance solutions aiming China car market

ThroughTek (TUTK) is an Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud service provider leveraging Novatek’s broad range of display ICs and SoCs for providing in-vehicle video surveillance systems aiming to become the original equipment (OE) devices in China market. Austin Du, director of Business Development Department, shared the company’s strategy of business development in China car market.

Several GM brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet will be releasing new vehicles in China with such in-vehicle video surveillance system developed using ThroughTek Kalay platform and software solutions in the second half of 2017.

ThroughTek solutions provide motion and fatigue detection to trigger alerts and recordings integrated with real-time video transmission, over-the-air (OTA) software solutions and instant messaging features. A TUTK app links to Shanghai On Star Service to allow end users to enable add-on services through smartphones. Shanghai On Star operates call centers which provide subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, navigation and remote diagnostics systems.

ThroughTek securely and seamlessly sends software updates over the air. The Kalay platform and software solutions could collect data from millions of cars to promote continuous system development. ThroughTek makes the vehicles surveillance systems that can adapt to software changes without expensive recalls. Through end users' calls through On Star, it also triggers the remote diagnostics to actively detect and provide the solutions solving situations. Being able to do the software updates in real time is incredibly valuable for major China car brands at all levels.

I-PEX connectors providing total solutions of connected vehicle networking

I-PEX, a Dai-ichi Seiko company, designs and manufactures small form factor connectors for fitting the requirements of high speed data transmission and high frequency bandwidth applications for connected car networking. Ben-Hwa Jang, I-PEX senior technical consultant, presented the topic of the evolution of connected vehicle networking. The technologies including V2X, ADAS and other telematics solutions will be integrated into connected cars. The increasing data volumes require high transmission speed with high bandwidth network inside the vehicles. The increasing wires to connect to different electrical and electronic systems will put more weights and increase the energy consumption. Jang said there are two new design directions to reduce the issues of wire harness problems. The first one is to introduce Ethernet network for connected car systems. The Ethernet standard has the benefits to use twisted wires and maintain the high speed performance of data transmission. The second approach is to use a higher voltage power system which will increase the power voltage from 14 to 42 volts. This will help to drive wire cost down and make it more flexible to use other alternatives.

Both approaches will have the problems of EMI interference and make the system unsafe. For solving these technical challenges, I-PEX designs the connector following AEC Q200 standards to increase the temperature ranges for -40 to 105 degrees Celsius. The design trend of I-PEX connectors is using the small form factor, EMI prevention, high data transmission speed and reliable connection. The various connectors will fulfill the requirements for different devices such as telematics box, antenna, wire-to-board, wire-to-wire features. The unique design of lock mechanism and shielding covers will also provide the strength of increasing reliability of cable connections.

Lite-On sees the big opportunity of V2X Technology

Tony An, CMO of Lite-On Smart Life and Applications Business, talked about Lite-On's new development of automotive product lines. The vehicles will massively utilize Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), which works in a similar way to WiFi standard in consumer electronics. The technology will allow the vehicles to communicate with each other by sending specific information across the waves, such as speed and GPS location. The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) commitment to DSRC for active safety communications contributes to safer driving. The rule would require automakers to include Vehicle To X (V2X) technologies in all new light-duty vehicles in US. An expects the V2X product to become the OE device for future connected cars by 2020. This is a huge business opportunity for Lite-On.

The current development is being done in cooperation with ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) under the industrial partnership plan. ITRI is one of the few organizations having complete V2X technologies and solutions.

Tsun-Chieh (TC) Chiang, division director of ITRI, joined the presentation to show V2X safety solution development. This is a system solution, providing the complete set of safety warning applications with IEEE 802.11p compliance. The current seventh generation of V2X OBU (on-board unit) box is going to be released in the second half of 2017. The advanced features include RSU-enhanced (road side unit) V2V and CMS (roadside content management system) assist safety and V2X management platform. There are more than 17 million cars sold in North America in a year, and Lite-On is very positive about this huge business opportunity.

Henkel’s Thermal Management Materials and PCB Protection Solutions

Founded 1876, Henkel AG & Company is a German chemical and consumer goods company headquartered in Dusseldorf. Henkel has a global presence with a footprint in every region to serve customers locally. The company is well known for its adhesive technologies. In the forum, Kenny Ho, technical service engineering manager, presented thermal management materials and printed circuit board (PCB) protection solution for automotive electronic applications.

There are four Henkel solutions for PCB protection: sealing, coating, encapsulating (potting) and low pressure molding (LPM). Each chemical for encapsulating and sealing of automotive electronic devices provides water tight seal capable of withstanding submersion.

Ho also presented thermal conductive materials that provide protection to electronics from harsh environments. The liquid type of thermal conductive gap filter is a cost effective solution for automotive PCBs. It can be used in the engine ECU, fuel pump controller, head lamp, audio amplifier and battery packs.

General Mobile (GMobi) provides vehicle components life cycle management

Automotive companies have acknowledged that future success lies in creating vehicles that are differentiated by electronics and software features. More electronics components are becoming essential parts, a trend which is posing challenges to managing them through the complicated supply chains. And the electronic systems require massive software components. Talking about how to securely and seamlessly send software updates over the air, Paul Wu, CEO of GMobi, presented the Telematics Service Platform (TSP) that provides solutions for carmakers. GMobi is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) service provider to provide an end-to-end, customized, firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updating service for connected cars. The TSP platform can manage software across the entire lifecycle of the components and parts throughout the cloud services.

China carmakers are looking into OTA technologies to add functions from TSP solutions throughout the car components life cycle management. When combining software upgrade and automotive-grade systems, a proper secured separation should be put in place to prevent any malware or malicious applications from compromising the car’s functions. This is why cyber security plays an important role for connected car OTA services. GMobi is in collaboration with Trend Micro and Gemalto PKI encryption.

Taiwan Mobile provides fleet management services leveraging eSIM technology

Hermann Huang, Taiwan Mobile deputy director of Mobile Marketing & IoT Services Division, talked about the promotion of Global eSIM (embedded SIM) technology that provides connected car services. He highlighted all cars will be connected. And SIM cards are key elements of connected cars. The GSMA’s embedded SIM specification provides a single standard for the remote provisioning and management of connected car services, allowing the OTA to obtain an initial operator subscription, and subsequent changes of subscriptions from one operator to another. Through eSIM technology, Taiwan Mobile has teamed up with AT&T and Bridge Alliance to provide the global telepresence service for global carmakers.

The solutions developed by eSim technology are well managed by platforms. Taiwan Mobile’s Fleet Management Platform is a good example of providing enterprise customers with detailed analysis and crucial information in the form of customized reports. Taiwan Mobile has set the goal to become the best partner in connected everything.

TUV NORD highlights the requirements of ISO26262 and ASPICE standards

TUV NORD is a technical consultant and service provider in the areas of system certification, product certification, and industry services. Kevin Huang, Great China Functional Safety Product Manager, noted that the automotive industry faces many technological challenges, including new technologies and increasing numbers of functions within the product, which means that the manufacturers have to develop more and more safety-relevant systems, such as intelligent assistance systems.

The implementation of ISO26262 and ASPICE will address the complete product safety lifecycle and each part is dedicated to a certain aspect of the lifecycle, he noted. Both requirements will lead to better processes and better product quality. TUV NORD provides the service to help Taiwan customers to improve the cooperation among complex supply chains and between globally distributed development and engineering centers.