Automotive Industry Shifts Towards Central Computing Architectures: E/E Architecture Trends for 2023 -

DUBLIN--()--The "Intelligent Vehicle E/E Architecture Research Report, 2023" report has been added to's offering.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of automotive Electronic/Electrical Architecture (EEA), significant transformations are on the horizon. The automotive industry is witnessing a paradigm shift towards central computing architectures with functional logics centralized in one central controller.

This shift is being driven by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who are pushing the boundaries of EEA planning. The year 2023-2023 is poised to be a pivotal moment for mass-producing the next-generation "quasi-central computing + zone" architecture.

The "quasi-central computing + zone" architecture encompasses several key types:

  1. Body-zonal architecture: This architecture streamlines the network topology, wiring harness layout, and weight by connecting the body zone controller to the central computing unit through a high-speed Ethernet backbone network. The central computing unit consolidates functions like vehicle control, body control, and gateways.
  2. X-domain zonal architecture: Integrating the functional zone with the body zone, the X-domain employs a powerful processor unit capable of independent sensor communication and data processing within the zone.
  3. Software-defined vehicle (SDV) optimized architecture: With a centralized, service-oriented approach, the central vehicle computer assumes decision-making authority, while zonal controllers supply power and execute commands issued by the central control unit.

Under the zonal architecture, Multi-Core Microcontrollers (MCUs) with high performance are in demand to meet the growing computing needs.

In the future central integrated E/E architecture, communication between the central processing unit and zonal controllers takes place via Ethernet, while zonal controllers communicate with sub-ECUs, sensors, and actuators through CAN/LIN bus. This shift necessitates more powerful MCUs in zonal controllers, enabling the integration of multiple ECU functions.

Pioneering Examples:

  • GAC Aion GA3.0 introduces the X-Soul Architecture, utilizing NXP S32G3 as the central computing unit processor.
  • Xpeng's X-EEA3.0 adopts Gigabit Ethernet as its communication backbone and leverages Renesas' flagship MCU based on the third-generation RXv3 CPU core.
  • Infineon's 3rd-generation AURIXT TC4xx MCU family, equipped with up to six TriCoreT 1.8 embedded cores, meets the new central computing and zonal control requirements.

The Demand for Automotive Ethernet PHY and Switch Chips:

The adoption of zonal architecture fuels a surge in demand for automotive Ethernet PHY and switch chips, resulting in price fluctuations. These chips are integral components of the automotive Ethernet interface circuit, with MAC controllers integrated into the main MCU for some vendors like Infineon. The global Ethernet switch/PHY chip market size is anticipated to reach USD 2.5 billion by 2028, with each vehicle requiring 2-4 Ethernet switch chips and 2-4 PHY chips on average.

Emerging Technologies and Market Dynamics:

  • Broadcom's BCM8957X family is the world's first automotive Ethernet switch supporting the 802.3ch standard.
  • Marvell's Brightlane Q622x family central Automotive Ethernet switches aim to support next-generation zonal networking architectures.
  • PCIe switches are becoming crucial for on-chip high-speed communication within central computing units.
  • Qualcomm's Ride3.0 utilizes PCIe switches, introducing new connectivity options to the automotive industry.
  • Visteon's dual Qualcomm 8155 cockpit domain controllers employ PCIe bus for efficient real-time data transmission in ADAS.
  • SiEngine Technology's SE-LINK high-speed interconnection bus enhances computing power and transmission speed.

The Evolution of Vehicle Operating Systems:

As E/E architecture evolves, the underlying vehicle operating systems undergo significant changes. Adaptive AUTOSAR introduces a service-oriented architecture (SOA) suitable for high-computing System-on-Chips (SoCs). GAC's X-Soul architecture and Huawei's iDVP intelligent digital base are examples of SOAs that streamline interfaces, modularize software, atomize functions, and enable remote configuration.

The automotive industry is at the forefront of technological advancements, with EEA developments driving innovation in supply chain deployment. Stay tuned for further updates on these transformative trends.

Key Topics Covered:

1 Summary of E/E Architecture Updates of OEMS

1.1 Evolution of Automotive EEA

1.2 Automotive EEA Standardization Process

1.3 Summary of EEA Updates of OEMS

2 E/E Architecture of Emerging Automakers

2.1 Tesla

2.2 Xpeng

2.3 NIO

2.4 Li Auto

2.5 NETA Auto

2.6 Leap Motor

2.7 Voyah

2.8 Human Horizons


2.10 IM Motors


3 E/E Architecture of Independent Brands

3.1 Geely

3.2 Great Wall Motor

3.3 GAC

3.4 BYD

3.5 SAIC

3.6 Changan

3.7 FAW Hongqi

3.8 Chery

4 E/E Architecture of Foreign Brands

4.1 Volkswagen

4.2 BMW

4.3 Mercedes-Benz

4.4 Toyota

4.5 General Motors

4.6 Ford

4.7 Volvo

4.8 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance (RNM)

4.9 Stellantis

5 Supply Chain Deployments under Automotive E/E Architecture Updates

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Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

For E.S.T. Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./ CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900