The 9 most disruptive tech trends of 2019: Page 9 of 9

2019 revealed some surprising developments in cobots, emerging energy, AI, and cybersecurity.

9.) Smarter everything … Thanks to semiconductors

(Image source: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)

When someone adds the word “smart” in front the names of objects – like smartphones, smart homes or buildings, smart cars and the like – they are acknowledging the addition of semiconductor intelligence to the objects. Adding ever smaller hardware chips with software has enabled our smart and connected IoT world.

Even though the semiconductor industry for 2019 is forecasted to be down 3% by Technavio, it still added $454.5 billion in revenue to the US. Modest growth is expected to return in 2020. This year, the semiconductor industry was driven by the continuing growth of global smartphone sales and adoption of system-on-chip (SoC) devices in automobiles.

Semiconductor chip growth is expected to return in 2020 and beyond thanks to the following market areas: automation in smart cities and factories; AI;  5G; autonomous cars; and the IoT. Some of the growth will be in China as a report from Deloitte pegs China’s semiconductor industry revenue to grow by 25% to approximately $110 billion in 2019, from an estimated $85 billion in 2018. Still, there is some doubt as to China’s capability to maintain the fabrication of chips without the help of US technology, which has been interrupted due to the trade wars between the two countries.

John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.

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