Autonomous DrivingMediaTek

MediaTek Gears Up for Autonomous Driving

MediaTek laid out their plans to bring holistic, fully integrated system solutions to the automotive industry beginning Q1 2017 according to their Nov 29’th 2016 press release- details here. The renowned Taiwan-based global fabless semiconductor giant is a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile devices, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products & their plans deserve to be taken seriously. According to JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the New Business Development Business Unit at MediaTek, “The demands of connected and autonomous vehicles require a unique portfolio of technologies. MediaTek’s core competencies create a natural progression for us to design for the future of driving,”. The press release further went on to outline four key areas of focus in relation to its autonomous driving ambitions, namely:

  • Advanced Driver Assistance System (Vision-based ADAS): Reimagined from the ground up, MediaTek’s ADAS system will feature cutting-edge, decentralised Vision Processing Unit (VPU) solutions to optimally handle large amounts of real-time visual streaming data.  MediaTek employs Machine Learning to increase the accuracy and speed of detection, recognition and tracking, making it more comparable to human decision-making performance.
  • Precision Millimeter Wave (mmWave) Radar: MediaTek is drawing on its technology expertise and heritage in high frequency RF and connectivity, bringing the automotive industry mmWave radar solutions that use higher frequencies in order to gain better object resolution and more precise detection. Residing in the high frequency band, mmWave radar can recognize targets more accurately and is more resistant to fog, rain, snow and other weather conditions than current types of radar.
  • Superior In-Vehicle Infotainment powerful 2D and 3D processing technologies to ensure its application processors perform at the highest levels of efficiency and speed. MediaTek in car entertainment solutions offer a high level of integration of navigational and multimedia features and connectivity options.
  • Enhanced Telematics to handle a variety of high-bandwidth information transfers and is able to support a wide variety of connectivity standards (Cellular 4G/3G/2G, Wi-Fi, BT/BLE etc.) and map-based applications.

With Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Intel all already competing in this sector, the move makes sense for MediaTek, in particular as it seeks higher-margin opportunities than those it currently enjoys serving the low-to-medium end of the global smartphone market. However, it may find itself targeting exactly that segment of the autonomous driving market, given the leads already enjoyed by its competitors in the mid-to-premium end of the automotive market. For an in-depth discussion on the key players in autonomous driving, please get in touch at william.keating@semiconalpha.com