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Micron-Qualcomm Partner to Build Automotive Cockpit Platform

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Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) recently announced that it is partnering with Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) subsidiary — Qualcomm Technologies — to jointly develop advanced solutions for in-vehicle cockpit controls in autonomous vehicles.

Micron’s automotive-grade LPDDR4X memory devices will be used to build the next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms. Micron’s memory solutions will also be tested to be integrated into the cockpit platforms to enhance customer experience.

The Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms will be demonstrated during the ongoing Consumer Electronic Show 2019, which will end on Jan 11.

Shyam Krishnamurthy, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies was quoted saying “Today’s advanced automotive cockpit compute solutions must have greater compute performance and faster data throughput than ever before.”

The system capacity of Micron’s LPDDR4X memory devices ranges between 2 gigabytes (Gb) and 16 Gb with throughput rates of up to 546 Gb per second to support high-resolution 3D graphic displays. The memory devices also provide the bandwidth necessary to operate the compute-intensive platforms ideal for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Growing Efforts in Automotive

Memory and storage are key components of next-generation systems in autonomous vehicles, including ADAS technology. Micron offers memory products including DRAM, NAND, LPDDR and SSD, all of which are important to build a memory-hungry autonomous vehicle.

This is the second partnership this year where Micron’s memory solutions are being tested for self-drive vehicle’s technologies. Recently, the company announced its partnership with Mobileye, as part of which, its LPDRAM, Xccela NOR Flash and e.MMC memory solutions will be tested to expedite the development of ADAS capabilities in Level 1–5 self-driving vehicles.

The company already provides automotive-grade low-power DDR memories to automotive companies, which, Micron believes, will enable overall system bandwidths of up to 100 Gb per second. However, the company estimates that bandwidths of 300 Gb/s will be required to power Level 5 autonomous vehicles, making it all the more important to make advancements in its already powerful memory solutions.

In November last year, the company launched the Micron 2100 series of 1TB automotive and industrial grade PCIe NVMe solid state drive, based on the 3D NAND technology. This will enable faster, more cost-effective and powerful storage solutions for level 3 or higher autonomous cars and industrial Internet of Things.

In the same month, Micron also announced that it has entered into partnership with BMW Group to enhance automotive memory solutions for self-driven cars.

Micron’s recent string of announcements prove that the company is upping its efforts in the emerging market for self-drive autonomous vehicles, as the automotive industry is moving toward level 5 autonomy.

We note that Micron, which is currently hit by excess inventory with customers in the cloud, graphics and enterprise market, continues to witness solid growth in automotive market. Management believes that rising demand for in-vehicle infotainment and ADAS will steadily fuel growth for the company.

We therefore expect that given the strong growth opportunity of the autonomous vehicle market, the company’s demand environment will improve and, in turn, aid this stock.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

While Micron currently has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), Qualcomm carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A couple of better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL - Free Report) and Synopsys, Inc. (SNPS - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Marvell and Synopsys is projected to be 9.38% and 10%, respectively.

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