tronica is here! Heralded as the world’s leading trade fair for electronic components, systems and applications, once again we can expect to see innovation invention and striding technology. Doors open on November 9 in Munich for four days.
Alongside the packed exhibition areas, there’s a supporting programme of conferences all of which are expecting to top the visitor attendance figures of 2008 when some 73,000 visitors packed the halls to see what was new from the almost 2800 exhibitors occupying 160,000m2 of stand space. Once again hybridica, the international trade fair for the development and manufacture of metal plastic hybrid components, is running alongside electronica.
With a multi-focussed approach, electronica will certainly keep us all occupied. On the development and integration of embedded systems, latest generations of microprocessors, boards, development platforms and test software take to the stands. Components for mobile devices to complete system solutions for industrial complexes are on show, supplemented by the Embedded Forum which highlights the latest trends, themes and highlights in the industry.
Whether for automotive, industrial or other applications, embedded is now very much an integral part of nearly every electronic device and hence the technology is increasingly more important. Alongside the latest boards and CPUs, the essential software to integrate and develop embedded solutions is paramount. electronica 2010 has the latest systems and developer tools on show.
Programmierbare Logik & Systeme, Lauta, and HighTec EDV-Systeme, for example, are jointly presenting a completely new development platform for single chip systems. Single chip, SoCs are frequently used in automotive applications and other embedded applications and by integrating all functions on an IC, impressively small dimension solutions can be realised.
Innovations in embedded hardware range from Epson MCPs to embedded boards from the likes of Data Modul and complemented by the electronica Embedded Forum. Microsoft is providing a first-hand account of the development of systems based on Windows Embedded 7 and on motor control, the Forum is tabling improved energy efficiency and lower system costs. An overview of the main trends and factors in small form factor boards will show the development of small integrated circuits for use in embedded boards.
Future mobility will be determined by electric bikes, electric cars and new charging technologies. And on that score, electromobility is a topic at electronica 2010. From direct current converters through to complete charging stations, electromobility is emerging with electric cars, electric bikes and other electromobility concepts.
The trend towards environmentally friendly mobility concepts calls for innovative vehicle concepts from the industry. Electronics are thus important for providing the drive to systems, with energy storage and battery management placing greater demands on automobile electronics, especially electronic components, modules and systems.
Around 560 exhibitors are already supplying products and solutions which are used in electromobility.
Energy efficiency and environmental compatibility are two of the most important challenges facing the automobile industry. Electronics can provide numerous solutions for future automobiles and it is therefore one of the fastest growing markets in the automotive sector. Around 20% of exhibitors at electronica are showing products from the automotive sector and presenting solutions for future mobility. In addition to the exhibition, the electronica Automotive Conference and Automotive Forum are focusing on this key arena.
The automobile industry ranks among the world’s most important and highest earning industries. Automobile electronics also plays a leading role in the electronics sector as a sub-segment. After a drop in turnover to $125 billion in 2009, market researchers are anticipating an increase – based on the latest available figures - to $244 billion up to the year 2017.
An anticipated rise in turnover is due not least to the fact that the industry is tackling the requirements of future mobility, realising innovative solutions. E|ENOVA, the Automobile Electronics Innovation Alliance, is now the Energy Efficient Driving 2014, or EFA 2014, initiative which has set out to reduce vehicle fuel consumption in conventional engines by up to 10% by 2014. Participating companies, also exhibiting, include ELMOS Semiconductor, Flextronics Automotive, Infineon Technologies and Robert Bosch.
Small and medium sized companies, as well as market leaders such as Epson Europe Electronics, Silicon Labs and Freescale are also presenting solutions for automobile electronics at the show.
Increasing the intelligence of vehicles is one of the most important approaches for reducing fuel consumption. By making full use of all data, for example from the navigation system, driving situations will be predicted in future and the operating strategies of the vehicle will be matched to requirements. This will lead to considerable potential savings.
Another way of increasing efficiency is by making use of torque generation and transmission, optimising energy in the power-train. The industry is expecting strong growth of up to 14% for required components such as power-train ECUs in the next few years.
The obstacle to electric vehicles that must be overcome is the production of a battery that is efficient, small and quickly rechargable. Leading companies like Axeon and Saft are developing lithium-ion batteries for industrial applications. Axeon batteries are already being used all over Europe to drive electric cars.
electronica’s Automotive Forum examines e-mobility, safety and communication in its sessions. These forward-looking technologies are being discussed over all four days of the show, with the electronica automotive conference also taking place on days one and two of the show.
LED is certainly a leading light in electronics. New large format LEDs such as Samsung’s EX(n) series are on show, combining size and energy efficiency. Weighing just 15kg and with a depth of 40mm, these rank among the lightest in their class. And they also boast using up to 60% less energy compared with conventional displays. The new LED SyncMaster 400EX(n), 460EX(n) and 550EX(n) with screen sizes of 40, 46 and 55in respectively are especially suitable for digital signage applications in airports, shopping centres or conference venues. And they are impressive with their full HD resolution and refresh rate of 120Hz.
Kingbright Electronic is also presenting the first dome lens SMD LED in a 0603 package. This new helios SMD LED has a 60° angle of radiation and supplies a typical brightness of up to 3000mcd at 20mA in red. The industrial component complies with temperature specifications of -40~+80°C and was developed especially for automatic pick&place assembly.
OLED is currently promising much. These organic light emitting diodes, compared with organic LEDs, have lower current density and luminance. OLED displays also do not require any backlight as the diodes emit light when a voltage is applied. Thus OLEDs are flatter and more energy efficient and have a higher contrast than conventional displays.
In the OLEDs arena, Data Modul is showing its passive matrix OLEDs and highlighting the new 14cm PMOLED UG-5664ASGGF01 (UN10033). This monochrome, green, product has a resolution of 256x64 pixels and is currently the largest PMOLED available, measuring up at 146x65x2mm.
LEDs, OLEDs and AMOLEDs are an expected high growth area for electronics. For AMOLEDs in smart phones, market research company iSuppli is forecasting an average growth rate of 55.1% up to 2015. Since an AMOLED display does not require any backlight, energy consumption is reduced and a normal display can be just a few millimetres thick. AMOLED displays can also be printed on nearly every material and are extremely elastic. Consideration is already being given to the integration of displays in items of clothing.
The quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report by DisplaySearch shows that OLED displays will have a market volume of $5.5 billion with an average annual growth rate of 37% by 2015. Samsung is reacting in this respect and will invest a total of $2.2 billion in AMOLEDs and OLEDs up to 2012. However, market researchers do not regard smart phone displays as the most important source of income with OLEDs and AMOLEDs in the longer term. According to the research company, televisions will account for a worldwide turnover of $1.92 billion in 2015.
It is also anticipated that LED sales will double by 2013 to €14.3 billion compared with $6.7 billion in 2009. Strong growth is expected in this segment, primarily on account of the wide range of applications of very bright LEDs.
Finally, virtualisation and multicore are now a central thread running through electronica. Semiconductor manufacturers are exhibiting the latest single and multicore processors with virtualisation support whilst also demonstrating matching software in action. Notably, the Open Source Automation Development Lab is being represented for the first time at electronica, exhibiting open source based process development solutions.
Following the rapid and highly successful introduction of hardware virtualisation in server systems, virtualisation is now gaining ground in control components and embedded systems to an ever increasing extent. Similarly, multicore processor architectures initially conquered server systems, however, they soon moved on to the desktop and are now establishing themselves in embedded systems.