On 18th September 2019, Japanese chemical and engineering company, Nichia Corporation, and German semiconductor major, Infineon, announced their collaboration for developing a high-definition (HD) light engine with more than 16,000 micro-LEDs for front light applications. The new device will provide high resolution light to the entire field of view of the driver. The production launch of the new HD light engine, which will be a part of Nichia’s automotive LED and laser portfolio, is planned for 2023.
The new HD light engine will employ micro-LED technology from Nichia and a new driver IC from Infineon. In addition to the safety benefits, the new solution will also significantly increase energy efficiency because it allows to turn on only those LEDs that are needed for a light pattern.
MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
Nilesh Rana – Team Lead: Automotive & Transportation Research at MarketsandMarkets™, shares his point of view as mentioned below:
The automotive lighting industry is witnessing remarkable advancements in emerging technologies such as micro-LEDs, LCDs, and lasers. Micro LEDs are a new, advanced, smaller varieties of LEDs. This size advantage might make them an ideal choice for automotive applications. Infineon has partnered with Nichia Corporation to add further momentum to the development of adaptive lighting technologies. Their HD light engine with more than 16,000 micro-LEDs is a significant development in this technology. The new LED matrix light will offer about 180 times higher resolution compared with the similar solutions available at present.
A key trend in the global automotive lighting market is the collaboration of OEMs with domestic players in emerging economies. Manufacturers have been focusing on R&D to develop cost-effective, advanced lighting systems with better illumination, increased lifespan, and lower power consumption. However, the fluctuating prices of raw materials such as tungsten, molybdenum, glass material, niobium, phosphorous, and other compounds can hinder the growth of the market.
Impact of partnership
Collaboration between Nichia and Infineon will have a moderate impact on the automotive lighting market. The energy efficiency of the new HD light engine will be significantly higher than that of the current micro-mirrors solutions that turn on all LEDs and deflect surplus light. The new HD light can also contribute to reducing the design and production complexity for car manufacturers. For instance, left-hand and right-hand drive configurations have different lighting requirements. With the new HD light engine, the necessary adaptions could be programmed digitally in the factory or easily activated by the driver as a function on demand. Other players also have come up with various developments in this segment. For instance, Continental introduced a high-definition micro-LED headlamp system at the TechShow 2019. The system provides a fully digital, high-resolution light shape for the driver as well as other traffic participants. The digital light shape is dynamically adapted according to ambient conditions. Continental introduced the world’s first headlamp featuring μLED array for automotive forward lighting. Valeo and Cree, Inc. demonstrated the first complete HD LED array solution—Valeo PictureBeam Monolithic—at the CES 2019.
High demand for adaptive lighting is expected to drive the automotive lighting market:
Increasing demand for adaptive lighting, which can help avoid accidents caused due to light glare, is expected to drive the automotive lighting market. The dazzle effect is one of the major problems faced by drivers in night driving. To avoid this passing blindness, a separate filament is fitted in the dual-filament headlight bulb. This filament deflects the light beam both downwards and sideways so that the driver of the oncoming car is not blinded.
Adaptive lighting systems make night driving and driving in bad weather conditions safer and more comfortable. The driver can get effective lighting of the road, roadside, bends, and dark corners. Continuous innovations and strong focus on developing adaptive lighting systems are expected to drive the automotive lighting market. Companies such as Marelli, Hella, and Hyundai Mobis have developed the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and Adaptive Rear Lighting System (ARS). Marelli’s Automotive Lighting develops Dynamic Curve Light, Cornering Light, and Motorway Light systems, in addition to standard functions. Hella also develops AFS as a dynamic lighting system that allows the best possible illumination of the road according to the speed and steering angle. Similarly, Hyundai Mobis developed the world’s first Advanced Adaptive Driving Beam that ensures driving safety utilizing Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
e- Estimated; p- Projected
Source: MarketsandMarkets™ Analysis
Intelligent lighting is a key element of driver assistance. Like ADAS, situation-specific lighting profiles will help the driver and support vehicle automation. Intelligent lighting will serve to increase the performance of vehicle lighting with the aim of freeing the driver from all light control actions. The collaboration of Nichia and Infineon comes at the right moment when the demand for intelligent adaptive systems is on the rise. Their high-tech offering is sure to turn heads in the industry.
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