roewe750.jpgSTMicroelectronics,
Europe's leading chipmaker, has been named top semiconductor supplier
to China's fast-growing automotive sector.

Mirroring the trend that took place in developed car markets some
time ago, the electronic content in Chinese cars is now growing
rapidly. Car manufacturers are turning more and more to electronics,
both to replace electromechanical systems and to make models more
appealing with climate control and entertainment systems.

These trends are spurring the demand for dedicated automotive chips and market research firm iSuppli predicts that the market in China will nearly double by 20011 to reach $2.8bn.

What really caught EngagingChina's eye in the announcement is the
dominant position held by STMicroelectronics in this specialist market.
According to the iSuppli, ST captured a 15.7% share of the market and
moved into first place among suppliers of automotive semiconductors.

There aren't many European technology companies that can claim top
spot in a market in China, particularly one as strategic as the
automotive sector.

However, we suspect that STMicroelectronics may soon start to feel
the heat from local players because automotive chips, unlike computer
processors, are relatively low-tech and thus an ideal target for
China's developing chip industry.

More on China's domestic chip industry in this EngagingChina story. More on ST in China is this story.


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