Research analysis
Taiwan makers show competitiveness in car-use camera modules, mmWave radars, says Digitimes Research
Jessie Lin, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES

Taiwan-based makers are internationally competitive in the development and manufacturing of camera modules and mmWave (millimeter wave) radars used in ADAS (advanced driver assistance system), according to Digitimes Research.

Cars equipped with ADAS are equivalent to SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Level 2 autonomous vehicles, Digitimes Research indicated. While Level 4 autonomous vehicles require installation of expensive LiDARs, AI-based computers and IoV (Internet of vehicles) devices.

In addition, Level 4 autonomous vehicles are restricted to run in closed or constrained environment due to safety consideration and traffic regulations, and are mostly used for mobility as a service, that is, carrying passengers or goods among fixed locations.

Camera modules with resolution of 1.3-3.0 megapixel have an average unit price of about US$30, while ones equipped with extra image recognition technologies cost about US$150. In terms of autonomous driving, camera modules are mainly used for collision, lane departure and blind spot warning as well as rear parking assistance and monitoring of the driver's conditions. Asia Optical, Calin Technology, Kinko Optical and Ability opto-Electronics Technology are main Taiwan-based makers of camera modules.

A 77GHz mmWave radar costs about US$150 and a 79GHz one about US$120. Main functions of mmWave radars for autonomous driving are blind spot detection, ACC (adaptive cruise control), around-view monitoring and rear parking assistance. Cub Elecparts is currently the main Taiwan-based maker of mmWave radars, while a few other makers have begun small-volume shipments for trial use or are poised to start production.

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