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The Digital Cockpit Domain Controller is Rapidly Gaining Popularity with Auto OEMs, Reaching 45 Million Shipments by 2030


Quickening innovation across the entire technology space and a need for cost reduction in the automotive industry has driven automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to explore the consolidation of different domains and Electronic Control Units (ECUs) within a single Cockpit Domain Controller (CDC). According to a new report from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, worldwide shipments of CDCs will reach 45 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 72%. The cost efficiencies of space, weight, and wiring reduction are one of the primary drivers of this growth.

“We are seeing a global appetite for consolidation, ranging from infotainment with instrument clusters to incorporating high-level Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) features. Additionally, the effects of mixed-criticality systems don’t stop after the vehicle leaves the production line – it has implications for vehicle software maintenance and upgrading across its whole lifecycle. OEMs, Tier 1s, and silicon providers need to re-evaluate and restructure their organizational interaction to realize this trend’s potential fully,” explains Abu Miah, Smart Mobility & Automotive Analyst at ABI Research.

Growth in cockpit domain controllers will be concentrated in the APAC region, owing to Chinese OEMs innovating at faster production cycles than their Western counterparts and realizing the benefits of mixed-criticality earlier. APAC is expected to account for over 60% of CDC shipments in 2024, with OEMs such as Great Wall Motors and Hongqi having multiple models with CDCs since 2019.

One key enabling technology of mixed-criticality systems is the hypervisor. The Blackberry QNX Hypervisor is leading the automotive market. However, stakeholders note the potential of open-source projects like the Xen Hypervisor as the developer community collaborates toward ASIL-D safety certification.

“A close level of integration between OEMs and their partners is essential to address mixed-criticality requirements in the short to long term for vehicles currently being shipped. All vendors must understand the needs of their OEM partners to build and update their solutions accordingly and proactively prepare for change as the automotive industry continues the transition toward a Software-Defined Vehicle,” Miah concludes.

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