Automotive Electronics

Microchip acquires VSI, expands automotive connectivity

CHANDLER, Ariz., Apr. 11, 2024 — Microchip Technology Inc., a manufacturer of microcontrollers, mixed-signal, analog, and Flash-IP solutions used in a variety of electronic devices, announces the completed acquisition of Seoul, Korea-based VSI Co. Ltd., an industry in providing high-speed, asymmetric, camera, sensor and display connectivity technologies and products based on the Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA) open standard for In-Vehicle Networking (IVN). The terms of the transaction are not disclosed. This acquisition strengthens Microchip’s position in the automotive networking market.

The market size of automotive radar, camera and LiDAR modules is expected to grow by greater than two times between 2022 to 2028 to $27B in revenue, according to Yole Group[1]. This anticipated growth is driven by the increased adoption of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), in-cabin monitoring, safety and convenience features (e.g., 360-degree surround view, E-Mirrors) and multi-screen digital cockpits for next-generation Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs). These applications will require more highly asymmetric raw data and video links. They will also need higher bandwidths, making current, proprietary serializer/deserializer (SerDes)-based solutions no longer adequate, both commercially and technically. Moreover, the Automotive SerDes Alliance (ASA) formed in 2019 in response to these developments. It released the first open-standard ASA Motion Link (ASA-ML) specifications.

“This acquisition brings VSI’s knowledgeable team and their market traction to Microchip’s expansive automotive networking portfolio. We are enhancing our ability to serve the ADAS megatrend we focus on by incorporating ASA Motion Link technologies and products,” said Mitch Obolsky, senior vice president of Microchip’s automotive products, networking, and data center business units. “As the industry converges around three primary IVN pillars – Ethernet, PCIe® and ASA Motion Link, camera and display connectivity is one of the fastest growing and largest IVN markets. With VSI, Microchip can now offer products that span all three pillars. Additionally, they can provide automotive security, microcontrollers, motor control, touch, and power management solutions to their customers. This enables their next-generation software-defined vehicle architectures.”

Today, ASA has over 145 members, including Microchip, a promoter member. The Alliance boasts 11 automotive manufacturers, including BMW, GM, Ford, Stellantis, and Hyundai-Kia Motors Corporation. It also encompasses an ecosystem that spans Tier 1 suppliers, semiconductor and imager vendors, and test and compliance houses. In addition to being an open standard, ASA-ML brings link layer security and scalability to support 2 Gbps to 16 Gbps line rates. Furthermore, the upcoming specification update will enable ASA-ML to support Ethernet-based architectures.

“Microchip Technology is an established and trusted market leader in automotive networking known for their automotive quality and robust supply chain, and our team is excited to join them to address the growing ADAS and digital cockpit connectivity market,” said Steve Kang, CEO of VSI Co. Ltd. “VSI is a leader in the development of ASA-ML products and was the first to introduce products to the market. Car manufacturers worldwide are evaluating our standards-compliant chipsets. Moreover, we recently collaborated with BMW in a proof of concept to showcase ASA-ML and our product readiness. This acquisition brings together two organizations with a shared commitment to advancing technology through innovation. Moreover, we look forward to successfully deploying our solutions in production vehicles for years to come.”

In March 2024, BMW Group announced at the Automotive Ethernet Congress in Munich. They would shift to using standardized ASA-ML for upcoming start of productions. Moreover, BMW has always been at the forefront of in-vehicle networking innovation. They strongly believe in leveraging standardized technologies in their vehicle architectures, and now also their video architecture.

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