GlobalData’s unique theme-based analysis is identifying the semiconductor companies best placed to succeed in the future based on their capabilities in the nascent market in self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars has been named by GlobalData as one of the top ten themes that will impact the semiconductor sector over the next two years.

The other nine are: high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data centres, ambient commerce, the industrial internet, gaming, 5G, M&A and geopolitics.

With so many disruptive technologies impacting so many industries, companies are struggling to identify the technology partners that can help them transform their business in a digitised world.

To help them, GlobalData’s Thematic Team has developed a “thematic engine” which is designed to identify tomorrow’s tech leaders rather than today’s tech incumbents, based on their competitive position in the most important themes impacting their industry. The GlobalData thematic engine spans 15 key technology sectors – from semiconductors to consumer electronics to enterprise software – and covers over 60 themes.

The semiconductor companies given the highest thematic scoring for self-driving cars are: Intel, Alphabet, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Baidu, Analog Devices, ROHM, NVIDIA, Aixtron, Renesas, NXP, Infineon, Tesla, Melexis, ON Semiconductor, Skyworks and Silicon Labs.

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What do self-driving cars mean for the semiconductor sector?

Each new car carries an average of nearly $500 worth of chips. This compares to a chip content of just $70 for the average smartphone. These chips come in all shapes and sizes – radio frequency (RF) and baseband chips, sensors, microcontrollers and powerful CPUs to process vision interpretation data.

The intelligence that is built into cars is growing dramatically. Driver assistance features like automatic parking are already mainstream and developments in autonomous technology are happening at a fast pace.

Over the next couple of years, demand for chips from the auto sector will rise significantly. Google’s Waymo, the leading developer of the ‘robot driver’ is based on hardware from Intel/Mobileye, while Nvidia, Baidu and start-up Aurora are gaining considerable traction, with Nvidia leading the way. Apple, with its Titan electric car project is very much the dark horse. Tesla is developing its own AI chip and China is investing in scores of AI chip start-ups focused on supplying and developing this sector.

The world’s most important semiconductor companies

The full universe of 57 semiconductor companies covered by GlobalData’s Semiconductor Sector Scorecard are:

  1. Aixtron
  2. Alibaba
  3. Alphabet
  4. Amazon
  5. AMD
  6. AMS
  7. Analog Devices
  8. Apple
  9. ASML Holding
  10. Baidu
  11. Barefoot Networks
  12. Broadcom
  13. Cambricon
  14. Cirrus Logic
  15. Cypress
  16. Dialog
  17. Diodes
  18. Graphcore
  19. Himax
  20. IBM
  21. Infineon
  22. Intel
  23. Marvell
  24. Maxim
  25. MediaTek
  26. Melexis
  27. Mellanox
  28. Microchip
  29. Micron
  30. Microsoft
  31. Monolithic Power Systems
  32. Nanya Tech
  33. Nvidia
  34. NXP
  35. On Semiconductor
  36. Qorvo
  37. Qualcomm
  38. Realtek Semiconductor
  39. Renesas
  40. Rohm
  41. Samsung Electronics
  42. Silicon Labs
  43. Silicon Motion
  44. SK Hynix
  45. Skyworks
  46. SMIC
  47. Softbank
  48. STMicroelectronics
  49. Teradyne
  50. Tesla
  51. Texas Instruments
  52. Tokyo Electron
  53. TSMC
  54. UMC
  55. Vanguard
  56. Xilinx
  57. Zeno