Yukihiro Kato, Executive Director, Denso, Aichi, Japan
The automotive industry is in the midst of a once-in-a-century greatest transformation. The transformation of the automobile is a consequence of three technology trends: (1) electrification, (2) driving automation, and (3) vehicle interconnection. All three of these require dramatic advancement within semiconductor technologies. In this talk, our vision of the future mobile society is presented, focusing especially on automotive semiconductor electronics. To promote the electrification of the car, power semiconductors are a key technology. The energy conversion efficiency of the motor has been increased by IGBTs, and next-generation SiC MOSFETs will further increase efficiency. However, to put automated driving to practical use, both advanced sensors and intelligent SoCs are required. Improved performance of sensors, such as cameras, LIDARs, and millimeter-wave radars, with increased range and resolution are required to precisely monitor the total environment of the car. Path planning for automated driving involves recognizing the vehicle’s proximity to nearby objects and the free space available. In this process, deep learning is an exceedingly useful method and highly sophisticated SoCs with GPUs are essential for its implementation. Finally, from the viewpoint of a connected vehicle, cars will shift from lumps of metal into something like a giant smartphone! Of course, in the connected vehicle, you can make a phone call, receive and/or transmit emails, do shopping, make payments, and so on. As well, updated maps are constantly available. But, also, each vehicle must be constantly aware of the status and intent of nearly vehicles. Clearly, to implement the intricacies of such an interconnected vehicle network, we need a myriad of semiconductors including communication ICs.