Today’s automotive market is not the same old “tried-and-true” supply chain that has existed for decades. New carmakers, such as those in Silicon Valley and China, are entering the market with radically new vehicle architectures and business models that address the changing needs and demographics of our society. Existing OEMs are sharing car platforms, building battery packs, selecting battery chemistry, and partnering with each other to gain economies of scale.  As these partnerships form, we see the emergence of regional strategies with local governments co-existing alongside worldwide standards. We also see a growing number of global alliances to build a sustainable future consistent with the highest ethical standards. As a result, Mobility, rather than Automotive, is perhaps a better catchphrase to reflect the disruptions in today’s landscape.

Regenerating the Environment

The recent COVID-19 crisis has shown all of us the importance of maintaining a healthy environment. Electrification is not only the core technology for our industry, but also a pathway to sustainable transportation by saving greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars, buses, trucks, delivery vehicles, scooters, and more.  In fact, thanks to our world-class technology, ADI is on track to save over 200 million tons of CO2 by 2025.

 

The electric vehicle industry, also referred to as E-Mobility, is already a $200 billion-plus industry with millions of vehicles sold worldwide every year. Each vehicle contains anywhere from $100 to $3,000 worth of semiconductor, software, and system content. Additional elements of the Electrification ecosystem, such as charging infrastructure, service models and contracts, fleet management, battery assets, and more, create a large worldwide economic impact into the trillions. 

And now, OEMs are electrifying their fleets. Numerous OEMs around the world have announced public plans to stop their development of internal combustion engines and offer full electric alternatives in every vehicle model.  Major retail, transportation and logistics companies are going all electric. For these reasons, we see the electrification revolution as a major shift that will move us beyond simply sustaining the environment to enabling regeneration of the environment at a healthy, steady rate.

Enabling Superior Vehicle Range and Cabin Experience

When it comes to consumer demand for electric vehicles, vehicle range is the major concern. From the earliest days of our development over 10 years ago, we developed our products to deliver the world’s best precision down to the mV level over all conditions, guaranteed for the lifetime of the vehicle, to maximize range and enable maximum usable battery capacity per charge.  Thanks to these advantages and more, Rimac-- the maker of some of the fastest supercars in the world--is planning to incorporate ADI’s precision battery management system (BMS) ICs into its vehicle fleet. Rimac is a technology powerhouse in the field of high-performance electric vehicles with a focus to build the world’s fastest hypercars completely from the ground up. With an acceleration of zero to 60 in under two seconds and over 1900 horsepower, these amazing vehicles are among the world’s most powerful supercars in which the highest performance and best vehicle range are not just nice to have but essential. 

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In addition to vehicle range, consumers also require an excellent in-cabin experience to enjoy their audio and use a hands-free device while driving. Earlier this year, in collaboration with our lead customer, ADI announced a new technology called all-digital Road Noise Cancellation (RNC) that creates a quiet cabin, even for electric vehicles built with lightweight materials. This groundbreaking technology is a first for the automotive industry and is being launched by Hyundai Motor Company. The new RNC leverages ADI’s expertise in Automotive Audio Bus (A2B®) technology, MEMS accelerometers, and audio DSP processing.

ADI collaborated closely with Hyundai to architect its system that reduces equipment cost, weight, and design complexity, and in turn, improves overall fuel efficiency. This means that not only is the technology good for the consumer cabin experience, but it also enables vehicle size and weight to be minimized to save fuel. So, it is good for the environment as well, without compromising comfort.

   

Working Together Globally

China is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and home to 80% of the world’s supply of Lithium-Ion batteries. Globally, we see innovation not only from China, but also from the Silicon Valley companies, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the Detroit-based OEMs and automakers. Our collaborations in these regions mean that ADI will enjoy a significant ramp up as these companies enter a major worldwide expansion phase for their electric vehicles.

In addition, global alliances are forming. ADI is an active member of the Global Battery Alliance, which is helping drive creation of a sustainable battery value chain by 2030. Analog Devices, along with 41 other organizations, joined together and agreed upon principles for batteries to accelerate a sustainable energy future.

Furthermore, if we think of the battery as an asset in the car, our view is this asset must not only be safe for the consumer, but also able to be recycled and developed with sustainable, environmentally friendly, and ethical practices.  When we look at battery chemistry, we see that lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry is built with non-combustible materials and the release of oxygen is much slower during over-stress, enabling superior protection from thermal runaway and fires. It’s also zero cobalt, which is significant because cobalt is often mined under conditions that violate human rights.  As EVs become more mainstream, we can expect that ethics of cobalt will not be well tolerated by major global players. In fact, we are seeing numerous OEMs claiming they will no longer support batteries made with cobalt.

What’s Next for ADI?

What can you expect to see from ADI as the Mobility market continues to evolve towards an Electrification future? We recently announced the industry’s first wireless BMS and a groundbreaking collaboration with General Motors aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and a sustainable future. Watch for my next blog that will focus on this new technology and ADI’s collaboration with General Motors.

Here are some of our next priorities:

  1. Expanding our innovation scope to encompass the full life cycle of the battery from battery formation and test to battery management and battery second life.

  2. Maintaining focus on development of breakthrough in-cabin technology for audio, head units, and driver monitoring to help usher in the future of even more comfortable and immersive transportation.

  3. Continuing development of industry leading perception and navigation sensing technology to support the shift from ADAS to full autonomy.

  4. Working to influence policy through our membership in the World Economic Forum as well as expanding beyond performance vehicles and moving into mainstream cars as OEMs electrify their fleets.

The 130-year-old automotive industry is being reimagined, recrafted and reborn before our eyes. ADI is excited to help drive this transformation and the future of mobility.

Learn more about ADI and vehicle electrification here or ADI and cabin electronics and infotainment here. 

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