Even amid the worst business conditions, the electronics industry's technology juggernaut rolls on. Early in this decade, for example, the telecom industry spiraled downward into an extraordinary slump, wiping out some $2 trillion in market value. Dot-coms died off on a daily basis and the biggest electronics vendors laid off engineers in droves. And what happened to the technology?
It pressed on. Microprocessors continued their desktop march to 64 bits while bandwidth soared. Memories gained more capacity. In a 10-year period from 1995 to 2005, electronic content in vehicles nearly doubled, ultimately accounting for more than 20 percent of the cost of every car. During that time, a few luxury automakers began using as many as 100 microcontrollers per vehicle. And cell phone sales approached a billion per year worldwide.
The point is that electronics' technology marches on, under all conditions. So whether you're designing a cell phone or a Mercedes-Benz, you need to stay on top of the ever-changing price-performance curve. Moore's Law, it seems, never lets up.
To help you with that, we've rounded up a comprehensive collection of the latest in electronic components. We've sent our editorial team to talk to manufacturers of digital signal processors, sensors, software, analog ICs, connectors, cables, motors, relays, switches and more. In each area, we've tried to ferret out the trends. In the embedded world, for example, we've examined the trend toward the addition of peripherals to single-core devices. In connectors and cables, we looked at the effect of fiber optics, as well as the need for products that offer more power-handling capacity. In the analog arena, our editors considered the growth of analog content in end products ranging from cameras to ultrasound systems. In networking, passive components, power sources, and every other category, we've taken the same approach.
The idea is to keep you abreast of the rapid changes in the electronics' industry. If you haven't recently checked out the product categories mentioned here, then try paging through this supplement. Whether you're a product specifier or just a curious design engineer, we think you'll find it helpful.
View the Electronics Trend Watch: 2006 - 2007 Table of Contents