The hybrid InnoVEX 2022 was held in an onsite event (May 24 to 27, 2022) as well as an online platform aimed to enable interested parties to overcome the travel limitations. While the platform has been modified to accommodate for the current global macro-factors, InnoVEX still hosted various events this year, as the forums discussed various topics, including 5G, green energy, sportstech, EV and more.
This year's EV forum is titled Ride to the Future: 2022 Canada-Taiwan EV Summit, which was organized by Taipei Computer Association (TCA) and Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) featuring speakers from Blackberry and GaN Systems representing Canada and Elan Microelectronics and PEGATRON representing Taiwan. The forum discussed various aspects of the EV industry, including how the ICT and automotive industries can individually or jointly contribute to the development of EVs and the EV industry.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Liang-gee Chen, Executive Supervisor of Taiwan Advanced Automotive Technology Development Association (TADA) stated that Taiwan's ICT manufacturers are uniquely positioned to be a major partner of major car manufacturers around the world. The recent automotive chip shortages have proven how important Taiwan is for not only the global ICT and electronics industries, but also the automotive industry.
Representing CTOT, Mr. Jordan Reeves stated in his opening speech that Canada and Taiwan really complement each other very nicely in the EV industry. Canada is one of the largest automakers in North America and provides tariff-free access to the North American market as well as skilled workers, lower costs, and government incentives. For the EV industry, Canada's strength in the automotive industry will be complemented greatly by Taiwan's strong ICT industry.
Foundation Software for the Intelligent Edge
The first speaker of the forum was Ms. Sarah Tatsis, Senior VP of IVY Platform Development, BlackBerry. She stated that 30 billion connected devices are expected to be online by 2025, with stronger computing power. At the same time, edge devices are expected to become more software defined, with each device managing more complex endpoints and requiring improved foundational software that is safe, secure, reliable, and has high performance. Currently many organizations aim to reduce the complexity of moving to software-defined things and improve their time to market. In the software defined space, the right operating system can be the key to achieve this. The software defined vehicle will have 3 key themes: intelligence at the edge, reduction of developer friction, and a safe & secure platform.
Human Interface of Today and Tomorrow
Mr. Joe Yeh of Elan Microelectronics shared that the future of human-machine interface will include biometrics which include fingerprint and facial recognition. For users, biometrics will be able to provide more than just convenience because it can also be used for personalization, customization, and improved security. As one of the biggest players in the displays, Elan Microelectronics has partnered with display makers as well as automotive makers to create smart cockpits for EVs. The displays will have to be able to provide relevant and accurate information to the drivers while not overwhelming them with notifications to ensure and improve safety for drivers, other road users, pedestrians, and more. With AI tracking, it will be possible to achieve these goals and make sure EVs provide better experience for its users.
Taiwan EV Supply Chain Advantages and Opportunities
Mr. Michael Yeh of PEGATRON said that EVs are not bound by the same structure as traditional automakers, with startups having a stronger presence and software technology sharing equal importance with the automotive segment of the industry. In addition to a strong ICT industry, Taiwan also has outstanding suppliers which have already entered the global automotive supply chain which makes Taiwan a very powerful partner for the EV industry. He stated that upcoming vehicles will be designed with more intelligence, electrification, and integration; which makes smart vehicles an important development direction for the global autonomous industry. Smart cockpits will be an integral part of this development and will need hardware with a great computing performance, AI, sensors, reliable OS, and adequate cybersecurity.
Past to Present: GaN is Now a True Game Changer
Mr. Stephen Coates of GaN Systems Asia's speech focused on the effect of new materials, specifically gallium nitride (GaN), when applied to EV and other electronics. As the world pivots to reduction in CO2, consumption, and more to sustainability, electrification, and the proliferation of electronics; the growth of EV is only a natural progression. At the same time, the growth of EV will require more power and more electronics, but less space usage, less cost, and less weight. Upgrades in the power component; for example by adopting GaN solutions might be the solution to make EVs more reliable, economical, as well as longer running without needing major overhauls to the production processes and facilities.
Panel Discussion - Integration to Create Future Vehicles
The panel discussion of the forum was joined by all the speakers: Ms. Sarah Tatsis of IVY Platform Development, BlackBerry; Mr. Joe Yeh, EA & EVP of Elan Microelectronics; Mr. Michael Yeh, Senior Director of the Automotive BU of PEGATRON; and Mr. Stephen Coates, VP of Global Operations and GM, GaN Systems Asia. The panel discussed the development of the future vehicle and the changes to be expected from future developments of automotive supply chains.
The future of vehicles is not limited to electrification, but also the intelligent applications which will be the key to its operations. To achieve this, the automotive industry will need to cooperate with the ICT industries not only for the advanced components and technologies, but also for software and security. The future of vehicles will rely on integration and middleware so businesses can differentiate their products to their competitors. With competition only growing, it is vital for automakers to reduce their time-to-market, but at the same time reduce or even eliminate risks all with a safe and flexible solution with no vendor lock-in from all segments: hardware, software, cloud, etc. In this regard, successful integration will rely on reliable partners with aligned goals.
Innovations in technology, whether in form factor, hardware, software, materials, etc. will be able to solve existing problems that traditional solutions might not be able to solve. Replacing materials in components might be able to provide higher performance with lower weight, volume, cost, or fail rate. With a more compact component, automakers might be able to enable new functions and improve customer experience with functionality, reliability, and overall cost.
While automotive-ICT integration was relatively minimal for a long time, the increased scope and necessity will mean automakers will also face new challenges. As customization will be a desired quality, it is very likely the product time-to-market will increase due to a necessity to align the different components and make sure they work as intended. Open ecosystems, standardization, modular designs will be necessary to make sure the products are not delayed any more than it needs to be.
At the same time, while improvements are being done on the product and ecosystem side, companies must make sure to not neglect their talents. Integration will be able to achieve more than the sums of the individual components' sums, but without adequate talent, achieving all of the required aspects will be difficult or too costly.
Watch the full forum video here