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Intelligent driving industry chain analysis 2023

Intelligent driving introduces intelligent driving modules on the basis of traditional driving. Through the modification of conventional vehicles, equipped with various advanced on-board sensors, controllers, actuators and other devices, and the integration of modern communication and network technology, the vehicle has complex environment perception, intelligent decision-making, collaborative control and other functions, thereby greatly improving the automation and intelligence of driving.

“Sense-Decision-Act” are the three most important systems for autonomous vehicles:
Perception layer: mainly composed of lidar, camera, high-precision map, IMU/GPS and other parts, mainly responsible for collecting information around the body;

Decision: Based on the information data of the perception layer, the optimized driving decision is obtained according to the computing center with high computing power;

Execution: Based on the driving decision given by the decision-making level, the brake system, engine, steering system and other control systems are given instructions to be responsible for driving execution.

Car camera: the key to the vision solution

The on-board camera is an important sensor for intelligent driving cars, and its function is to monitor the internal and external environment of the car to assist the driver in driving. According to the different installation positions, it can be divided into front view, rear view, surround view, inner view and so on. From the perspective of the industrial chain, from upstream wafers, protective films, to midstream CMOS, DSP, and then to downstream modules, there are basically high technical barriers.

Upstream: optical lenses, filters, protective films, wafers

Among them, “optical lens + filter + protective film” is the upstream of the lens group; The wafer is upstream of the CMOS and DSP chips. Optical lens manufacturing raw materials include optical glass and quartz glass, etc., and the market competition is fierce.

Optical filters are usually installed behind the camera lens, close to the surface of the image sensor, and are optics used to select the desired radiation band, which can improve image quality.The filter substrate is mostly white glass, colored glass, quartz, plastic, etc.

Types of Car Camera
Types of Car Camera

The world’s major suppliers include Asahi Glass, DAISHINKU, NIHON DEMPA KOGYO, Optrontec, etc., mainly from Japan and South Korea, and China suppliers include Crystal-Optech (14.000, 0.08, 0.57%), Ofilm Group (5.330, 0.03, 0.57%), Giai Photonics, etc.

Upstream: lens, gluing material, CMOS, DSP

“Lens, glue material, CMOS” is the upstream of module packagers.

“DSP” provides a DSP for system integrators.

The gluing material used for automotive cameras is mainly UV glue (Ultraviolet Rays), which is used in the module packaging process. The number of suppliers is large, the market competition is more fierce, basically composed of European, American and Japanese manufacturers.

Image sensors are mainly divided into CCD image sensors (Charged Coupled Device Image Sensor) and CMOS image sensors (Complementary Metal-OxideSemiconductor Image Sensor) two categories, CMOS has become the leading product in the image sensor market.

The main difference between CCD and CMOS image sensors is the peripheral signal processing circuit of the photosensitive diode and the processing of the analog signal of the sensor.

The analog signals received by the photosensitive element in the CCD image sensor are transmitted directly sequentially, at the end of the sensor will transmit the analog signal unified output, and by the special digital-to-analog conversion chip and signal processing chip for amplification, digital-analog conversion and subsequent digital signal processing. CCD image sensor has high resolution, low noise and other advantages, but the production cost is relatively high, mainly used for professional cameras, cameras and other equipment.

And CMOS image sensor in each sensor can directly integrate the amplification circuit and digital-to-analog conversion circuit, without sequential transmission and unified output, and then by the image processing circuit to further process the signal. CMOS image sensor has the characteristics of low cost, low power consumption, and its overall performance continues to improve with the continuous evolution of product technology.

Global image sensor market size
Global image sensor market size

Because CMOS image sensors have a series of advantages such as high integration, high degree of standardization, low power consumption, low cost, small size, and random reading of image information, they have been valued since the 90s and obtained a large number of R&D resources, and their market share has increased year by year.

At present, it has been widely used in smart phones, feature phones, tablet computers, notebook computers, automotive electronics, mobile payment, medical imaging and other applications, and has become the core sensor device for mobile Internet and Internet of Things applications. At present, the world’s major CMOS image sensor suppliers include Samsung, Sony, OmniVision Technology, GalaxyCore, etc.

In the field of automotive cameras, CMOS is the mainstream sensor.

In terms of CMOS global market share, Sony has occupied more than 40% of the market for many years, and its CMOS business is mainly concentrated in mobile phones.

However, the industry leader of automotive application CMOS is ONSEMI and Omnivision Technologies.

The role of the DSP chip is to convert analog signals into digital signals.

DSP chip head manufacturers are mainly Texas Instruments (TI), Analog Devices Corporation (ADI) and Motorola, of which Texas Instruments has the highest market share and is in a leading position in the DSP chip market.

Midstream: module suppliers and system integrators

Leading companies including Sony, Panasonic, Valeo, Magna and other manufacturers have obvious advantages in the front-mounted market of automotive cameras, accounting for the main market share.

Chinese companies are gradually emerging, including Hikvision, Desay SV, Sunny Optics, Lianchuang Electronics, OFILM, Suzhou Zhihua, Huichuang Electronics, Tongzhi Electronics, XL International and etc., but there is still some room for catching up.

The global vehicle camera module industry market pattern in 2019
The global vehicle camera module industry market pattern in 2019

China’s module packaging manufacturers mainly include Sunny Optics and OFILM, which have developed rapidly in the field of mobile phone camera module packaging and have entered the field of vehicle camera module packaging.

Downstream: OEMs, etc

According to the data, the global average number of cameras per car will increase from 1.7 in 2018 to 3 in 2023.

The average number of car cameras installed in China in 2020 is only 1.3, and the market space is huge. According to estimates, the market space of China’s passenger car vehicle camera will be about 18 billion yuan in 2025.

Ultrasonic radar: the market pattern is almost fixed

The common operating frequency of ultrasonic radar is 40KHz, 48KHz, 58KHz, etc., because the higher the frequency, the smaller the detection angle in the horizontal and vertical directions, the smaller the detection area, so 40KHz is the most common frequency.

The detection range of ultrasonic radar is basically between 0.1 meters and 3.0 meters, and the ultrasonic radar technology is mature and cost-effective, which is the best choice for mass production in the scene of reversing and parking lots.

The disadvantages of ultrasonic radar are that the test angle is small, multiple installations need to be installed, the ranging is short, and it is only suitable for low-speed scenarios.

At this stage, the bicycle is equipped with about 12 ultrasonic radars (the reversing radar is equipped with 4 ultrasonic sensors, and the automatic parking system adds 4 UPAs (Ultrasonic Parking Assistant) and 4 APA (Automatic Parking Assistant) ultrasonic sensors to the reversing radar system, a total of 12). Ultrasonic radar technology is relatively mature, and the gap between manufacturers mainly lies in the stability and reliability of the sensor.

Millimeter-wave radar

22GHz to 77GHz, the global market is growing rapidly.

Upstream: Divided into MMIC monolithic microwave integrated circuit, antenna high-frequency PCB board, DSP/FPGA. Hardware costs account for about 50%

MMIC monolithic microwave integrated circuit

World: Infineon, TI, ST, ADI, NXP

China: Gatlin Microelectronics, Italian trip Semiconductor, SGR Semiconductor

MMICs include circuits such as low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), power amplifiers, mixers, detectors, modulators, voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), phase shifters, and more. MMIC has the characteristics of low circuit loss, low noise, frequency bandwidth, large dynamic range, high power, and strong resistance to electromagnetic radiation. The core chips in MMIC circuits are basically from overseas chip design companies such as NXP, Infineon, and Texas Instruments. The cost of MMIC accounts for about 25%.

2017-2023 China market size and growth rate of ultrasonic radar industry
2017-2023 China market size and growth rate of ultrasonic radar industry

Antenna high-frequency PCB board

World: Rogers, Isola, Schweizer

China: WUS PRINTED CIRCUIT (listed), SYTECH (listed)

The mainstream scheme of millimeter-wave radar antennas is microstrip array, which integrates multiple antennas on the PCB substrate to realize the function of the antenna.

Due to the high frequency of millimeter wave, there are certain requirements for circuit dimensional accuracy, so high-frequency plate PCB is selected as the printed circuit board. At present, the radar antenna high-frequency PCB board is controlled by a few companies such as Hudian Co., Ltd., Rogers (Rogers), Isola, Schweizer (Schwarz, currently 19.74% of the company’s equity held by WUS PRINTED CIRCUIT) and Panasonic Electric.

The cost of antenna high-frequency PCB board accounts for about 10%. The core components of millimeter-wave radar are MMIC (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit) chip and antenna PCB board.

Conclusion

Automotive intelligent driving technology is a top technology in the field of automotive technology in recent years, which can autonomously complete the driving, steering, acceleration and deceleration of vehicles with the help of highly automated software and sensor equipment, providing convenience and safety for human driving. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence technology, intelligent driving is considered to be one of the important trends in future transportation, and its development prospects are very broad.

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