China-based startups cut striking figures in car-use ICs

Staff reporter, Shanghai; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: Black Sesame

China-based startups have played an important role in developing car-use ICs for applications like smart cockpits, ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) and autonomous driving, but are expected to face large competitive challenge over the next five years as the China government is boosting the development of local semiconductor industry, according to industry sources.

SiEngine Technology took the initiative to unveil SE1000 smart cockpit multimedia SoC based on 7nm process, a counterpart of Qualcomm SA8155P, in December 2021 and will start volume production in the second half of 2022.

SiEngine has finished testing for SE1000 and won the adoption of the SoC by China-based automaker Geely Automobile for its new car models. Besides, SiEngine has cooperated with China-based Desay Industry, ArcherMind Technology, Juefx Technology and Hivision Technology for promoting the application of SE1000.

AutoChips has also been engaged in the development of smart cockpit SoC and has unveiled a 5th-generation model, AC8025, with the model optimizing output of video in combination with a DSP (digital signal processing)-based audio solution.

According to Hong Kong-based ICV Tank, the China smart cockpit market value will grow to CNY107.2 billion (US$15.9 billion) in 2025, 2.14 times the level in 2020.

Horizon Robotics, Cambricon Technologies, SemiDrive Technology and Black Sesame Technologies have focused on car-use ICs for autonomous driving.

Horizon is the first one to start volume production of car-use high-performance computing ICs for automakers and is technologically able to provide IC solutions for use in Level 2 to Level 4 autonomous driving. Horizon Journey 5, Horizon-developed series AI inference processors, have been adopted by China-based automakers BYD and Hongqi.

Cambricon plans to unveil a Level 2 autonomous driving IC and a Level 4 one in 2022-2023, while SemiDrive will launch 200TOPS (tera operations per second) intelligent driving SoC in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Black Sesame has launched HuaShan-2 A1000, so far the only available IC supporting Leve 3 or higher autonomous driving among China IC design houses.