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From the editor’s desk: Embedded computing drives change

31 July 2019 News

Mike Goodyer says it best in the title of his article on page 16: “The only constant is change.” While he meant that in relation to developments at Microtronix Manufacturing and within the local electronics manufacturing industry at large, it is an adage that certainly holds true for pretty much every aspect of electronics technologies.

One particularly interesting aspect is the evolution (one could almost say revolution) of embedded computing and edge computing. As a colleague was enthusing about the other day, nowadays you can buy a CCTV camera made in China that costs next to nothing, has really good features and runs an embedded operating system like Linux on a circuit board the size of a postage stamp.

In his article on page 25, Farnell’s global head of technical marketing and solutions development, Cliff Ortmeyer, gathers the thoughts of several leading global semiconductor manufacturers on this topic, and the sheer range of their responses illustrates just how vast the variety of applications for embedded systems is, and how deeply they have already, and will continue to, penetrate our modern lives.

In a 2018 research report, Variant Market Research predicted that the global embedded computing market is expected to reach $316,2 billion by 2025 from $172,9 billion in 2017. It went on to point out that rising wireless communication infrastructure, increasing adoption of consumer electronics along with growing adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the factors driving the growth of the embedded computing market.

I think one of the most exciting things about where the market is going, is the fact that it opens up all sorts of possibilities, not only for the mainstream electronics industry, but for the makers and hobbyists out there. Nowadays a person with a bright idea but almost no knowledge of how a capacitor or transistor works, can buy a single-board computer like a Raspberry Pi and play around to their heart’s content – whether just for fun or for a marketable product.

Also in this issue, Mark Patrick from Mouser’s article on page 28 highlights some cost-effective tools that makers and small businesses can use to innovate. As he points out, “some of the most innovative ‘out of the box’ concepts come from this sector. All too often, major companies have very strict and structured screening processes relating to their R&D activities. These can preclude assigning resources to high-risk or niche projects where it is unclear if there will be a return on the investment.”

Whatever level you are designing at, we have you covered, as this edition of Dataweek comes out with the latest edition of our annual Electronics Buyers’ Guide – EBG 2020 (yes, we really do come from the future). In it, you’ll find anything and everything you might need to design, build and test your latest electronics design.



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