Nearly 90 percent of all innovations in the car depend on electronics, either directly or indirectly, and therefore on semiconductor technology. Between 6,000 and 8,000 chips are already installed in most Audi models today. The trend continues to be upward.
The technology cycles of the semiconductor industry affect innovations in the automotive industry to a large degree. While the typical time between two automobile generations is seven years, the product cycle in the semiconductor industry is refreshed after 15 to 18 months. Audi can quickly exploit the potentials of new generations of chips to the benefit of its customers – thanks to flexible solutions such as the modular infotainment platform (MIB) and its close cooperation with leading companies in consumer electronics.
Key for innovations:
Progressive SemiConductor Program (PSCP)
Audi subjects electronics to the most stringent requirements in terms of the durability, long-term quality and functional capabilities of the semiconductors over a broad temperature range. In light of this, the brand has been conducting the Progressive Semi Conductor Program (PSCP) since 2010 – it is a key to future innovations.
The supplier of system components continues to be an important contact partner in the PSCP. Audi engineers also have regular discussions directly with the producers of the semi-conductors. This leads to high efficiency and effectiveness, enabling innovations at time cycles that nearly match the high pace of consumer electronics.
High level of software competence
Audi is also driving the development of its own solutions in the software area with high intensity. In mid-2009, e.solutions GmbH was founded – a joint venture between Audi Electronics Venture GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG, and Elektrobit Automotive GmbH. e.solutions GmbH purchases functional software on the global market, e.g. for navigation or telephony, and integrates it into the modular software suite it develops. It runs on Tegra chips from Nvidia. This software suite enables rapid implementation of new functions such as online updating of navigation maps.
In addition, Audi is involved in successful joint ventures with leading companies in the consumer electronics industry. Its partners in the hardware area include Nvidia, Qualcomm and now Huawei as well – Audi is working with this Chinese telecommunications equipment provider to develop an LTE module specifically for Asia.
In software, Audi is working with such companies as Google, Apple and Baidu. In models like the new Audi Q7, when the customer links a suitable smartphone to the car the Audi smartphone interface automatically displays the relevant environment on the screen of its MMI monitor for either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. In China, Baidu CarLife will be added in the future as well. All three applications have been specifically designed for use in cars. Chinese joint venture partner Baidu is already represented on the Audi tablet for the new Q7 with its web browser and an app store.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.