Samsung Elec to supply 5G telematics control unit to BMW all-electric car

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Samsung Electronics Co. will supply 5G-based telematics control unit (TCU) co-developed with its wholly owned subsidiary Harman to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) to empower connectivity to the German brand’s all-electric sport utility vehicle iNEXT rolling out next year.

BMW’s iNEXT would be the world’s first vehicle fitted with a 5G-supported TCU, said Samsung Electronics on Wednesday when it first showcased its 5G TCU technology at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas. This is also the Korean tech giant’s first 5G TCU order.

The company did not disclose contract details including the financial term.

The 5G-based TCU collects and provides real-time data for connected car services. Drivers and passengers can download high-resolution contents and maps in real time and join video conferences on roads.

Various in-vehicle antennas are integrated into a new conformal antenna, replacing the shark fin antenna on top of the car roof, according to the company.

Samsung has already secured two more orders, said Park Jong-hwan, executive vice president and head of automotive components team in Samsung Electronics. “Harman could be the front leader in 5G TCU,” Park added.

Samsung Electronics has already applied its latest TCU to Seoul city buses and taxis in partnership with the country’s leading wireless company SK Telecom to test the system.

Harman’s revenue from the automotive component division has been growing by about 10 percent a year, Park revealed. Orders have exceeded $1 billion a year, Park added.

Harman anticipates bigger double-digit number in revenue growth from the automotive component division in 2022-2023.

Samsung Electronics supplies Harman car audio to luxury brand Genesis’ first SUV model GV80 at home. In April, it announced it has become an official supplier of digital cockpits to Chinese EV maker Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV).


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