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ST sees power, sensors as technology drivers of 2013

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power? sensors? smartphones? silicon? LED?

Advancements in silicon will be concentrated in two areas for 2013 and beyond. One is obvious and well established (but with plenty of innovation within), while the other is conceptually new and very exciting. The obvious technology is power and the new technology is sensors. These two categories of silicon technology will have a dramatic impact on all electronics in 2013 and probably far into the future.

All Things Power-Related

I described power as obvious and established because power transistors and switches are among the oldest technologies around. Many industry veterans consider them commoditized products today. But that view is very narrow and simplistic and misses the impact of newer devices on the products in which they operate. Taking a holistic view of power in all aspects of semiconductor technology, we see a common objective that spans across almost the entire electronics industry.

Francois Guibert, ST EVP, Greater China & South Asia Region

EVP Francois Guibert: Continuing to improve power efficiency has become as important as, if not more important than, increasing the operating speed of semiconductors.

When a smartphone vendor, or a vendor of any other product, for that matter, trumpets a new model that boasts a vast improvement in battery life, consumers recognise the longer operating life as a major selling point for the product. But rarely is a single technological advancement responsible for enabling the jump in power efficiency.

From the basic power transistors and switches to the more sophisticated power-management ICs, from the LED driver to the core processor, from the proximity sensor to the wireless transceiver, all power-related elements work in concert to achieve improvements in power efficiency.

And all of these individual components work together to enable power-efficient system-solutions that are ready to use in applications such as smart meters, solar inverters, home appliances and much more. Such applications combine the best energy-efficiency features of complementary chips into one optimised solution.

Continuing to improve power efficiency has become as important as, if not more important than, increasing the operating speed of semiconductors. Speed improvements, beyond a certain level, become almost imperceptible to the user, unless one is performing extraordinarily complex functions like analysing global weather patterns.


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