NXP forecasts sales growth driven by connected vehicles

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A man works on a tent for NXP Semiconductors in preparation for the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - Chipmaker NXP Semiconductors on Thursday said it believes it will hit $15 billion in sales by 2024, with much of the expansion coming from internet-connected electric vehicles.

The Dutch company already derives about half of its revenue, which it forecast will reach $11 billion this year, from the automotive sector. Speaking with Reuters after holding a presentation for investors, NXP Chief Executive Kurt Sievers said the company intended to focus on key areas where more chips are going into cars and where NXP believes it can hold a market position at least twice that of any competitor.

One of those areas is radar sensors, which are increasingly being put into cars for safety systems that can automatically brake before a collision. NXP has 44% market share in that field and $600 million in sales today, and Sievers said the company believes radar chips could hit $1 billion in sales by 2024.

But perhaps the most lucrative for NXP could be chips that help connect cars to the internet so they can be updated with new software to unlock features or services that carmakers can charge money for. Tesla Inc pioneered the business model, and the automotive industry is looking to adopt it more broadly.

NXP makes both the "gateway" chips that connect the vehicle to the internet and the "domain controllers" that can distribute software updates to various subsystems in the car, such as the drivetrain.

NXP competes against Marvell Technology in selling such chips, but Sievers said NXP believes it has leading market share.

"Tomorrow's cars will be updated over their lifetime with fresh software in order to boost performance and allow new use cases on an existing piece of hardware. And the entry door for these downloads of new software has to be highly secure," Sievers said.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Stephen Coates)