Virtually all the innovations that Audi brings to automotive applications are intrinsically linked with progress in microelectronics. Semiconductors are finding their way into virtually all areas of the vehicle and functions, right down to controlling the door locks, seat adjustment and lights. Over 6,000 chips are now used in the large Audi models. This massive increase in distributed functions calls for higher bandwidths for the data networks within the vehicle and comprehensive integration of the individual domain computers.
The Progressive Semi Conductor Program: Audi’s semiconductor strategy Audi is actively promoting progress in semiconductor technology – the innovative strategy known as PSCP (Progressive Semi Conductor Program) is a key factor in future innovations. The brand places stringent requirements on the chips, particularly regarding criteria such as long-term quality, integration and weight saving.
The bar is particularly high with innovations such as Nvidia’s new Tegra graphics chips, which Audi decided to use in its vehicles shortly after the chips were launched.
In the past, automakers limited themselves to commissioning a system supplier to develop a control unit, handing over a great deal of the responsibility for the associated contents. Audi has abandoned this structure in the PSCP, which was launched at the end of 2010. The system supplier remains an important , but Audi’s engineers now also talk directly to the semiconductor manufacturers. Seven of them now have the status of strategic partners.
Several initial projects have already been completed. This intensive dialog promotes understanding among everyone involved; it leads to higher efficiency and effectiveness and to compelling innovations. In order to manage development even more effectively, Audi is developing its own in-house semiconductor technology expertise.