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4 In-Vehicle Infotainment Trends to Watch in 2022

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People are spending more time in their cars today, as successful Covid-19 protocols have made it somewhat easier for people to return to the office, dine out, attend sporting events, concerts, and travel in general. Although reaching a destination is the ultimate goal, driving is always more fun if the journey is entertaining. Enter In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, the entertainment hub in modern vehicles. IVI combines in-cabin systems to deliver audio and video information along with a variety of entertainment to a vehicle’s driver and passengers. While the concept of in-car entertainment has been around for decades, today’s IVI systems are a far cry from the original Motorola car radios of the 1950s, and tape cassette and CD players of the late 1990s. Even smartphone connectivity options like auxiliary cords and Bluetooth that were introduced in the early 2000s are primitive in comparison. New automobiles feature multimedia, video streaming and 3D maps, and even 3D gaming through touchscreen displays, voice commands or push button panels. These apps turn driving a car into a rich, sensory experience that motorists can look forward to. And that’s not all – augmented reality will likely be the next technology to join the carpool.

But the range of available apps and services isn’t all that’s surprising. Over the past 10 years, IVI systems have moved from 7-inch displays that provide map information and satellite radio to 17-inch screens1 that serve as the main control hub for nearly all of the vehicle’s functions. These aren’t only found in Teslas either. Take, for example, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s 16.9 inch infotainment center display, which is accompanied by a 7-inch driver control display and a 14-inch digital instrument cluster. Together, these screens add up to 38 inches, and provide access to an array of advanced features. In the coming months and years, new technologies will usher in fresh capabilities to IVI systems while creating new revenue streams for manufacturers, both before and after a vehicle has been sold. Let’s take a look at four key trends we’re seeing in IVI innovation – and the technology that they’ll need to accelerate: • More connections. A connected vehicle is any vehicle equipped with Internet connectivity and able to access and send data. According to Counterpoint Research, 80 million new connected cars2 will be added in the U.S. between 2020 and 2025, with the market growing at a CAGR of 10%. Modern IVI systems connect vehicles via Wi-Fi to sensors, V2X↗ and telematics↗ solutions, and more. Connecting a smartphone directly to the IVI enables consumers to access messaging, navigation, music and other apps that live on their phones, in the car. Such embedded mobile connectivity has come standard in cars for years and now ships in 95% of new vehicles3, enabling drivers to benefit from a range of services, from hotspot and navigation to vehicle diagnostics. • Over-the-Air Updates. Tesla was the first to enable Tesla owners to update their IVI systems automatically4 and remotely via a cloud-based and Wi-Fi connection. Not only is this a free and convenient service, it’s meant to improve the functionality of the vehicle over time. This feature essentially transforms IVI systems from hardware-enabled to software-enabled systems, allowing auto manufacturers to update existing features or add new ones, and fix bugs in the applications with no effort on the part of the customer. Hyundai’s Sonata and Ioniq, the Kia K9, and the Genesis G90 have jumped on this trend5, and more automakers will follow suit in the months to come. • Move over, 4G. Speaking of connectivity, 5G is making in-roads with car manufacturers, replacing 4G, which was first rolled out around 2014. As one of the biggest technological advancements in recent years, 5G will boost demand for modern IVI systems, enabling high-speed data up to 10x faster than 4G, providing higher-definition maps, a host of new services and on-demand entertainment. Counterpoint expects 5G to be included with 27% of new vehicles6 by 2025. • Game On. Enabled by 5G connectivity, gaming will further enhance the in-vehicle experience. Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are being installed into vehicles to process video and gaming content and provide access to subscription-based services from providers such as FireTV, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and others. Modern IVI consoles offer computing power up to 10 teraflops approaching that of today’s premier gaming consoles, so passengers can play games that require high-speed processing and low latency – think Cyberpunk 2099 or The Witcher 3 – with incredible, better-than-HD quality. In addition to the center console display, many vehicles7 are equipped with rear-seat screens, enabling all passengers to entertain themselves with games and videos. With entertainment this good, road trips and family excursions will be much more enjoyable (and tolerable!) than ever. While innovations in IVI systems are plentiful, high-performance, high-capacity SSDs and graphics DRAM will be required for IVI systems to function as they become more complex and data-intensive. According to research from Samsung and IHS, today’s IVI systems represent a significant portion of a vehicle’s total overall memory requirements. Per vehicle, DRAM is increasing at a CAGR of 28% and expected to reach 353Gbs, and NAND is increasing at a CAGR of 31% and expected to reach 466GBs by 2030. Leading the Charge in Memory and Storage Innovation Samsung’s market-leading memory and storage technologies support the demands of modern IVI systems in today’s connected vehicles. We were the first in the industry to introduce UFS solutions for automotive applications in 2017, and continue to deliver cutting-edge automotive memory solutions that are designed specifically to meet the needs of next-generation automotive applications.

In December we introduced the 256GB PCIeGen3 NVMe ball grid array (BGA) SSD and two new DRAMs – the 2GB GDDR6 and 2GB DDR4 – targeted for IVI applications. Developed in-house, the 256GB BGA SSD controller and firmware deliver optimized performance with sequential read and write speeds that far outpace today’s eMMCs. With a read speed of 2,100 MB/s and write speed of 300 MB/s, these SSDs can handle the processing demands of today’s multimedia applications, while the 2GB GDDR6 DRAM features up to a 14 Gbps data rate per pin to manage large amounts of IVI data. Together these solutions enable a more enjoyable and convenient driving experience. Additionally, all of our automotive solutions have achieved AEC-Q100 qualification, an industry standard, to ensure these devices will operate under in-vehicle temperatures and conditions. According to Donovan Hwang, Sr. Director of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics, Samsung’s solutions are enabling a paradigm shift for the semiconductor automotive platform, delivering performance and capacity levels commonly found only in servers. “Samsung’s reinforced lineup of memory solutions will act as a major catalyst in further accelerating the shift toward the ‘Server on Wheels’ era,” he said. Learn more about our market-leading SSD, DRAM and Flash Storage solutions at https://semiconductor.samsung.com/us/.
1 Both the Tesla Model S sedan and the Model X SUV come with a 17-inch infotainment screen. 2 The cumulative connected car shipments in the US are expected to cross 80 million units during 2020-2025 with a CAGR of 10%. 3 Today, more than 95% of its cars offer embedded connectivity, with customers enjoying a host of services ranging from hotspot and navigation to vehicle diagnostics. 4 OTA updates allow automakers to quickly, conveniently, and automatically issue current and future operating system (O/S) refreshes to a vehicle in much the same way that a smartphone receives an O/S upgrade from its cellular provider. 5 Currently, the umbrella company offers limited over-the-air software updates to a small number of vehicles. This includes the Hyundai Sonata and Ioniq, the Kia K9, and the Genesis G90. Additionally, these OTA software updates only affect the navigation and voice assistance features. 6 US Connected Car Market on Recovery Path After COVID-19; 5G Cars to Account for 27% of Market by 2025. 7 Parents today really do have it better than their baby boomer forebears, as many of 2020’s most popular SUVs offer rear-seat entertainment.