The electronic components industry, particularly semiconductors, is getting a big boost from industrial applications. The global market for industrial semiconductors is forecast to increase by 12.9 percent in 2014, reaching $38.5 billion, according to new research from IHS Technology. The growth is attributed to “continuing strength in China and a resurgent U.S. economy,” the two largest markets for industrial semiconductors.
The IHS report also finds that second quarter growth this year was driven by three sectors: factory automation, building and home control, and commercial aircraft. The expansion of nearly seven percent in Q2 kept the global market for industrial semiconductors on a strong growth path for the year, according to IHS.
Other industry reports also indicate good growth for the industrial market. A recent industrial wireless sensor networks (IWSN) market report published by MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global market for IWSN to reach $944.92 million by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent from 2014 to 2020. This means demand for a variety of sensors, including temperature, pressure, flow, level, chemical and gas, motion, position, humidity, and image sensors, used in these applications.
As global demand continues to rise, buyers of industrial components should expect a huge uptick in new component designs that meet their requirements across a variety of applications. Electronic component manufacturers are developing new higher performance designs that meet or exceed industrial requirements, along with smaller packaging.
Here’s a sampling of the latest products targeting a variety of industrial applications.
The IHS report finds that LEDs will be among the fastest growing product sectors in the industrial semiconductor market, driven by general lighting applications, growing 12.4 percent this year. One the newest LEDs aimed at industrial applications is the LETERAS family of white LEDs from Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC). The new TL1L3 series features ultra-compact devices that combine gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) chips with an industrial standard 3535 lens type package. The GaN-on-Si process technology allows GaN LEDs to be produced on 200-mm silicon wafers, which is said to lower costs for manufacturers of industrial LED lighting as well as general lighting.
Another fast-growing area includes transistors and thyristors, which will grow 14.2 percent in 2014, according to IHS. Many of the latest products feature small packaging and high power density. One example is STMicroelectronics’ STAC250V2-500E 13.6-MHz RF power transistor, which provides high power density in a miniaturized and thermally efficient package for high-output class-E industrial power supplies. This transistor provides advantages for several industrial applications including induction heaters, plasma-enhanced vapor-deposition systems, and production equipment for solar cells and flat-panel televisions.
ST also unveiled a new family of IGBTs for industrial applications. The new M-Series of 1200-V IGBTs feature advanced trench-gate field-stop technology that is said to save more energy and increase reliability in applications such as solar inverters, welding equipment, uninterruptible power supplies, and industrial motor drives. The devices offer highly optimized conduction and turn-off characteristics, as well as low turn-on losses, making them well suited for use in hard-switching circuits operating at up to 20 kHz. ST also touts outstanding EMI performance thanks to the latest-generation diode technology co-packaged in anti-parallel with the IGBT, which is said to provide a fast recovery time and enhanced softness without significantly increasing turn-on losses.
Microchip Technology offers a new family of 16-bit dsPIC33 digital signal controllers (DSCs) - dsPIC33 "EV" – that provides 5-V operation for improved noise immunity and robustness, making them suitable for devices operating in harsh environments such as automotive (including sensors, user interface, fuel pumps, cooling fans and water pumps), appliance (including dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, range hoods and control panels) and industrial (including power tools, sewing machines, actuators, building controls and HVAC systems) applications. The dsPIC33EV family is the first dsPIC DSC with Error Correcting Code (ECC) Flash for increased reliability and safety, said Microchip. For safety-critical applications, the dsPIC33EV devices also include CRC, Deadman Timer (DMT), and Windowed Watchdog Timer (WWDT) peripherals as well as a backup system oscillator and certified Class B software. Other key features include up to six advanced motor control PWMs, a 12-bit ADC, and operational amplifiers, making the devices suitable for motor control applications.
Available in commercial and industrial versions, Linear Technology’s new LTC2983 high performance digital temperature measurement IC directly digitizes RTDs, thermocouples, thermistors and external diodes with 0.1°C accuracy and 0.001°C resolution. The analog front end offers low noise, low offset buffered ADCs, and all the necessary excitation and control circuits for each sensor. The measurements are performed under the control of a digital engine combining all the algorithms and linearization required for each, said Linear Tech.
Atmel has claimed the industry's first family of high-precision digital temperature sensors with the widest Vcc range from 1.7 V to 5.5 V. Delivering higher temperature accuracy and faster I2C bus communication speeds, the new devices are available with integrated nonvolatile registers and serial EEPROM memory making them suitable for consumer, industrial, computer, and medical applications. The wide Vcc range allows customers to purchase one device to cover all of their Vcc requirements in a variety of applications, reducing their overall bill of materials, said Atmel.
America Semiconductor has developed a series of high-power standard recovery rectifiers in a DO4 package. Offered in stud cathode and stud anode versions, the parts are available with current ratings ranging from 6 A to 25 A. The high-reliability components are hermetically sealed to ensure robust and dependable performance in harsh and humid environments. The rectifiers are offered with peak repetitive reverse voltages ranging from 100 V to 1200 V at 125 °C case temperature.
A few overriding trends among all the new products, in addition to higher performance, include designs that help lower overall costs, reduce power consumption, and save board space, which remain consistent across all component types and industry sectors.