SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS Analog and power solutions: Ready for real world connectivity?
The IoT’s rapid growth, and electrification for greener energy, are driven by digital technology – yet digital solutions depend on analog sensors measuring pressure, temperature, flow, and many other real-world parameters. This article shows how EBV helps designers to source and integrate analog semiconductor solutions with a competitive edge.
The digital world needs analog semiconductors
Digitalization is ever advancing, almost as if our world were solely represented and controlled by ones and zeros. But appearance is deceptive: even if all digital world data and signals are processed in binary, the physical world still remains analog. Most physical variables – audio, temperature, voltage or other – are analog values.
This is why analog semiconductor components are important technological precursors, as they enable many state-of-the art digital devices to be developed in the first place. They measure and control real world functions, such as temperature, speed, sound, and electric current, and provide the interface to the digital world. These analog semiconductor components come in many different forms, including Integrated Circuits (IC) for energy management, signal converters and interface chips. Analog semiconductors can be found in consumer devices, computers, communication systems, in modern cars and in industrial automation technology. In wearables, their purpose, among other things, is to ensure the battery can supply energy for as long as possible, while in many other areas they control electricity consumption.
High demand for analog semiconductors
Analog interfaces are needed now more than ever: firstly, current technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, need ever more sensors to receive and process signals from our surroundings. Secondly, global efforts to counteract climate change are leading to increased electrification in diverse areas – from cars to building heating. This creates a huge growth potential for analog chips that are specifically designed for energy management.
Yet how can designers access exactly the chips they need – products that will give them a competitive edge, while being cost-effective and easy to integrate? This challenge is growing steadily as times to market and budgets shrink, technological complexities continuously increase, and manufacturers offer less support.
EBV Elektronik’s unique solution
EBV Elektronik has extensive experience of these issues, and has developed a unique solution accordingly. Originally founded as a European semiconductor distributor in 1969, they have evolved into a high-tech service company. To ensure their customer’s success, EBV Elektronik can draw on their semiconductor and solutions competences, plus their long-established relationships with numerous semiconductor manufacturers. The customer journey starts with EBV Elektronik’s design support strategy, whereas the partnership can be extended to the EBVchips custom development program.
EBV Elektronik has optimized their design support impact through their Competence Teams; these comprise highly specialized FAEs with very specific product or application knowledge, in fields including power electronics and analog & sensors. The Teams’ know-how is available to the company’s 110 FAEs throughout Europe, and multiplies specific competence for wider re-use. This is valuable, as design problems that occur in one project often reappear in others in recognizable patterns.
In addition, EBV Elelektronik is the first semiconductor distributor in the world to offer its customers a service for specific application requirements: the EBVchips program. This means the company works for and with their clients to define semiconductor solutions for manufacturing by their suppliers. Because EBV Elektronik combines the interests of several customers, and partially cover costs themselves, small customers and projects can access brand-new specifications and customized solutions. They can also fulfil small production runs if required. Suppliers also benefit from the EBVchips program, as it gives them access to new accounts and opportunities to offer innovative new products.
All-in-one IoT chip
One interesting EBVchips solution comprises the Heracles 224G chip and its associated Heraclesuino 224G Development Kit. The 224G chip is an all-in-one IoT plug and play solution. It combines a low power, low throughput LTE modem, a GPRS/EDGE modem, a global satellite localization system and a pre-paid data package with a European footprint. The module is designed for M2M applications, such as metering, wearable, tracking, remote monitoring, healthcare, telematics, mobile POS terminals, bike sharing, smart farming, and others.
The Heraclesuino 224G Development Kit allows easy design of mobile and non-mobile IoT applications by combining the 224G chip with a STM32L433 Microcontroller, battery and power supply, and interfaces to real world analog sensors; 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, humidity and temperature sensors, 3D magnetometer, and pressure sensor.
According to Verified Market Research, the global market for analog ICs amounted to around USD349 billion in 2020. And it is predicted to grow even further to around 669 billion US dollars by 2028, which equates to CAGR of 8.46 %.
The need for energy management in almost all electronic products plays a key role in the growth of the analog semiconductor market. The thriving popularity of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices will further boost analog IC demand in the communications sector. Other factors for additional growth are the ever-faster product time-to-market, decreasing IC costs for individual functions and expanding functionality.
The progressive introduction of the Internet of Things in different sectors means that analog ICs are subject to strict design requirements. To create an ecosystem out of automated devices, the IoT requires analog chips that enable efficient electricity consumption and accurate signal processing. Market growth is also being stimulated by the increased use of analog ICs in sectors such as health monitoring, LED lighting and automotive applications, and many others.
This advertorial is sponsored by EBV Elektronik.