Domain control unit shipments will boom in 2021.
When the one-to-one correspondence between the growing number of sensors and electronic control units (ECU) leads to underperforming vehicles and adds circuit complexity, more powerful centralized architectures like domain control unit (DCU) and multi-domain controller (MDC) come as an alternative to the distributed ones.
As concerns the tendency of domain controller, Vector conceives three stages of E/E architecture development: controller-centric, DCU, and central computer. Intelligent vehicle will ultimately be a mobile super computer and data center, and a new Wintel will come into being. In future, computing platform, operating system and application software will matter the most to the highly automated vehicles; multimedia multi-domain controllers and central domain controllers are likely to be combined into one.
In response to the disruption, Volkswagen plans adoption of a unified automotive E/E architecture; BMW will introduce central communication services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) in its next-generation E/E architecture; the smart vehicle architecture (SVA) launched by Aptiv breaks the bottleneck of conventional architectures, providing frame scalability for next-generation intelligent vehicles. The new E/E architectures will be built on the concept of central computer-layer-area, embodying the philosophy of SOA.
As to DCU, next-generation smart cockpit system based on cockpit DCU enables functionality of cockpit electronic system on a unified software and hardware platform. Cockpit electronic system offering intelligent interaction and scenarios as well as personalized services, will be a foundation for human-vehicle interaction and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. Visteon argues that by 2023, intelligent cockpit integrated with LCD dashboard, center console and co-pilot infotainment system will be based entirely on single-ECU domain control platform.
Globally, Visteon, Continental, Bosch and Aptiv dominate the cockpit DCU market; Chinese players like Huawei, Desay SV, Shenzhen Hangsheng Electronics and Neusoft race to unveil their cockpit DCU solutions.
As for cockpit chip, typical products are comprised of Qualcomm 820A, Intel Atom, NXP i.MX8, Renesas R-CAR H3 and TI Jacinto family. Notably, the prevailing Qualcomm 820A processor platform has been ordered by 18 out of the 25 world-renowned OEMs, with the order intake recording $5.5 billion or so.
In the ADAS/AD DCU market, most of those in use for Level 1 driving assistance employ separate ECU to control. ADAS ECU which is developed mainly for Level 2 driving assistance is utilized to combine LDW/LKA and AEB. It is in the era of Level 2+, Level 3 and Level 4 automated driving that the demand for autonomous driving domain control unit (AD DCU) will be soaring.
Tier-1 suppliers worldwide already deploy ADAS/AD DCU such as Visteon DriveCore, Bosch DASy, Continental ADCU, ZF ProAI, Veoneer Zeus and Magna MAX4. In China, such typical products include iECU (co-developed by SAIC and TTTech), Huawei MDC (MobileData Center) intelligent driving DCU, IN-DRIVING TITAN, and Neusoft Reach CPDC-II DCU/CPDC-III central computer.
When it comes to autonomous driving chip, Nvidia is absolutely the leader with Nvidia Drive PX2 and Nvidia Drive Xavier being widely deployed by vendors. In December 2019, Nvidia introduced DRIVE AGX Orin, a software-defined platform for Level 5 automated driving, with nearly 7x the performance of the previous generation SoC Xaiver. The Orin SoC integrates NVIDIA’s next-generation GPU architecture and Arm Hercules CPU cores, as well as new deep learning and computer vision accelerators that, in aggregate, deliver 2,000 TOPS.
Other autonomous driving chips include TI TDA4, Qualcomm? Snapdragon Ride?, NXP S32 family, and Mobileye EyeQ family.
In the next three to five years, among DCU market segments, cockpit DCU will see a faster growth rate and a larger market than autonomous driving DCU because it is easier to spawn cockpit DCUs at lower cost; the surging demand for intelligent cockpits, which is fueled by the availability of 5G in vehicles, will drive up cockpit DCU shipments to explode in 2021 on the basis of OEM’s and Tier1’s progress in mass production.
In the ADAS/AD DCU field, inadequate regulations and immature technologies will expectedly make it hard to apply Level 3/Level 4 automated driving technologies on large scale in the upcoming three to five years. OEMs, tier-1 suppliers and chip vendors are working to mass produce L2+ autonomous vehicles. It is predicted that production of Level 3/Level 4 autonomous vehicles will peak around 2025, but business-oriented vehicles will play the key role, with roughly 5 million units of ADAD/AD DCUs for passenger cars to be shipped worldwide in 2025.