Innovation Drives Consumer Electronic Products
CES 2011 Generates Excitement for
New Product Launches
The huge global consumer electronics market, with its estimated value of $175 billion, is a trendsetter that has a strong impact on many other industries. Major trends influencing today's consumer electronics market center on size, form, and choice of material. In today's applications, product miniaturization, ease of use, diminishing carbon footprints, and wireless data access converge. MechoTech specializes in innovation and creativity to create consumer electronic devices that meet its clients' demands - and their requirements have increased exponentially.
Such product trends require a respective underlying technology on the device side (e.g. GPS, solid state disks, finger print sensors, holographic storage), application and content side (e.g. 3D True-HD, data streaming), networks (e.g. Internet TV, Long Term Evolution, Cloud Computing) and wireless data transmission (W-USB, W-HDMI, W-Power, Bluetooth, RFID, and NFC).
New technologies drive new applications such as True HD TVs based on LED/OLED backlight displays, rollable printed electronics, flash memory, touch screen technology, or data streaming as a replacement for traditional media, such as CD or DVD.
Product and Technology Trends
Computing, consumer, and communication (3C) are the main drivers in consumer electronics. The 3C industry is characterized by strong convergence, driven by a consumer demand for functional integration, and an application push by manufacturers to penetrate new markets. MechoTech has been at the cutting edge of this product convergence by developing consumer electronic devices for companies such as Broadcom, Western Digital, Quartics and others.
All-in-One PCs are increasingly taking a sweet spot between bulky desktops and lower performing notebooks. From Apple to Shuttle, everyone is striving for this attractive segment. A major differentiator for All-In-One PCs is the display, which is increasingly offering touch screen functionality. Touch screens come as single or multi-touch option. With the ongoing price erosion of the panels, multi-touch can be expected to become the standard.
The integration of functionalities, such as mainboard, DVD recorder, power supply, cooling, and I/Os into the display frame have a significant impact on consumer electronic devices
With the current transitions to LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks of the fourth generation, mobile Internet access is expected to replace wired access. Bandwidth and speed will be large enough to support the growing demand of a mobile community for content and permanent access. In mobile phones, HD content, high bandwidth, high resolution touch screens, OLED displays, various integrated functionalities such as GPS, radio, TV, high-resolution cameras, video conferencing, various motion sensors, LED lamps, or beamers, will become standard.
To enable such applications, technology is evolving fast. Optical interconnects, wireless I/Os, standardized power supplies, and new lower-power and higher-bandwidth interface technologies will ripple down from high-end smart phones to simple, affordable versions to meet all ends of the market.
Miniaturization is an ongoing technology driver. The market requires smaller products with more functionality. The connectors, often the larger components on the printed circuit boards, are reduced in contact pitch. Traditional pressfit or wave solder contact technologies have their limitations in size reduction. Together, with the pressure to reduce total applied costs, a further focus on surface mount processes can be observed.
In miniaturization, thickness is reduced, and is sometimes called Thinnovation. Flat designs are in televisions, mobile phones, monitors, and laptops. In connectors, new developments are often much lower in height than their predecessor. Also, low profile versions of existing interconnection solutions are developed.
Miniaturization does not only include pitch and height reduction. An interesting option is conversion. Not only sizes change, but also shape and functionality. The parallel printer connection has become USB, and both DVI and SCART are replaced by HDMI. Within computing, the number of bulky external connectors is reduced by conversion into integrated smaller solutions, as such outmoded connectors get completely eliminated. This also happens by further use of wireless connection technologies like Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), RFID, W-USB, and W-HDMI.
Another aspect of miniaturization is the integration of elements into one component. Examples are integration of passive components such as resistors or capacitors into PCBs; integration of ICs, filters, or LEDs into added-value connectors; or the integration of multiple ICs, mechanical elements, or magnetics into one package. These might be cable connectors or I/O connectors, like single- and multiport USBs, HDMI, and μUSB. The driver for such aggressive integration is mainly the mobile phone industry, where real estate is at a premium and one of the targets of most designers is reduction of the component size.
OEM companies like Samsung and Nokia, connector manufacturers like Tyco, chip manufacturers like NXP Semiconductors, and PCB manufacturers, are among the global leaders that have such commercial products available on the market. These integration concepts move some design complexity and responsibility from OEMs to their component suppliers.
MechoTech is a leader in the design and product development of innovative consumer electronic products. If you would like to meet us at 2011 CES from January 6 - 9 to discuss your new product, contact Moe Sarraf at (949) 584-1637.