The trade fair will showcase new electronic components, from passives and connectors to sensors and power devices, from dozens of component manufacturers

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief

With foot traffic in the tens of thousands and dozens of exhibitors, electronica 2018, held in November, promises to showcase some of the most innovative electronic components. This year, the show will host four conferences: automotive, embedded platform, medical electronics, and a Wireless Congress. This year’s slogan is “Connecting Everything — smart, safe, and secure,” which can be applied across all industry segments.

The electronics trade fair also includes a four-day developer event (IMPACT — Design for a Cause). This conference was developed in collaboration with Hackster.io, element14, and Avnet. Subjects include home automation, open internet, and robotics.

The Medical Electronics Conference is a first this year and will cover a host of topics, such as medical devices, cloud computing, data security, blockchain technology, collaborative robots, smart contracts, usability, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, regulatory requirements, and Medicine 4.0. A forum will focus on wearables.

A few components on display will include Analog Devices Inc.’s implantable MEMS inertial sensors that consume very little power for patient monitoring, Sensirion’s claimed smallest differential pressure sensor for smart inhalers, and Mektec’s flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) for medical devices.

Components covered in the embedded space range from chips, components, and modules to boards, services, tools, and software. Expect to see chips from companies like Infineon, Samsung, Semtech, and STMicroelectronics that target IoT connectivity and autonomous/networked automotive applications.

One of the technologies that spans across all embedded applications is sensors — a key enabler for IoT, autonomous driving, Industry 4.0, and any application starting with “smart.” You’ll find sensor manufacturers spread across exhibition areas. Solutions on display include Sensiron’s sensors for monitoring air quality, Bosch’s MEMS lineup for automotive and consumer electronics, and TE Connectivity’s sensor portfolio for medical applications.

For designers of automotive electronics, components on display will range from capacitive and LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles and chipsets for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication to display drivers for automotive displays and chips and cameras for advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).

Electronica is also hosting its first Power Electronics Forum, focused on smart energy. Here, you should see a range of power products ranging from passive components including capacitors, transformers, and heat sinks, to power supplies, batteries, and power semiconductors. Expect to see a lot of wide-bandgap semiconductors on display, including silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) from suppliers such as ROHM Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

A sneak peek
Here’s a small sampling of components that will be on display at this year’s show. You’ll find that many of them target industrial automation and Industry 4.0 applications.

KEMET is kicking off its 100-year celebration with demonstrations of its full range of capacitors, sensors, actuators, and magnetic devices. KEMET will focus on megatrends such as IoT, electrification, and autonomous driving. The booth will feature an interactive timeline that will highlight the company’s 100-year journey and the evolution of technologies over the years.

Keysight Technologies plans to demo a variety of test and measurement products and services for automotive, industrial, and communications markets. These include RF and high-speed digital solutions such as the new Infiniium UXR-Series of oscilloscopes, EMC compliance solutions, USB test stations, and a range of IoT testing and e-mobility solutions. The company also will show its PathWave design and test software platform and power electronics design tools.

A rebranded Knowles Precision Devices, thanks to acquisitions and new product innovations, will showcase its range of products. These include capacitors, RF and microwave components, EMI filters, and trimmers.

One of the newest products is the HiT range of MLCCs that are designed for high-voltage EV applications, with an operating temperature range of –55°C to 200°C. Stable (C0G) and ultra-stable (X7R) dielectric options are available in case sizes from 0805 to 2220. Capacitance values available range from 4.7 pF to 3.3 µF, with rated voltages of 16 Vdc to 630 Vdc. “The specified max capacitor values for the 500-/630-V parts have recently been increased to an upper limit of 68 nF, with the addition of an 0603 case size in X7R material,” said Knowles. Many of the company’s products target higher-reliability applications such as military, aerospace/avionics, medical, EMI and connector filtering, automotive, telecoms, and data networks.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. will showcase several new products, many of which target industrial applications. For factory automation, health care, communications, and consumer applications that require a wide input range, Maxim offers four new micro-system-level IC (uSLIC) DC/DC power modules — MAXM17552, MAXM15064, MAXM17900 and MAXM17903 — that offer an input range from 4 V to 60 V in a 2.6 × 3.0 × 1.5-mm footprint.

For building automation, automotive, and backup power systems, Maxim will also display its high-performance analog ICs. These include the MAX41464 sub-1-GHz transmitter for building automation, the MAX38888 backup power regulator for multiple end applications, and the MAX16141 36-V ORing FET controller for automotive power applications. These devices are expected to help system designers improve system efficiency, extend battery life, add new features and reduce size.

Enabling highly efficient power management for automotive lighting applications, Maxim’s new MAX20092 LED Matrix manager targets all the pain points — current, heat, and space constraints. As an example, the 12-switch matrix manager minimizes thermal issues related to LED matrix lighting solutions by offering a low internal switch resistance, which the company reports is 65% lower than the closest competitor.

Maxim’s Max20092 12-switch matrix manager for
automotive matrix lighting and adaptive driving beam LED applications.

Murata is offering demos along with new product showcases for automotive, IoT, health care, industrial, consumer, and energy markets. Components include semiconductors, power supplies, batteries, connectivity modules, and the newest MEMS sensors and passive components. Two products expected to be featured are the MEMS SCL3300 inclinometer targeted for industrial applications and the type 1SS IoT cellular module. The company also will be demoing several technologies at the Murata Smart City, including RFID solutions, the smallest AI camera with a Murata monoblock DC/DC converter, and the NAONO mood sensing platform capable of sensing the cognitive information of a space — this should be interesting.

ON Semiconductor is hitting nearly all of the hot applications with demonstrations in the areas of automotive, power conversion, and IoT. Expect to see a range of SiC devices, IGBTs, MOSFETs, and power modules for vehicle electrification, imaging, radar, and LiDAR for ADAS and autonomous driving, as well as energy-efficient power management and control for front, rear, and internal lighting applications. Key improvements focus on higher efficiency, energy savings, and smaller footprints. The company will also showcase a variety of IoT use cases for smart homes/buildings, smart cities, industrial automation, and medical applications. ON’s family of feature-rich audio DSPs for enabling embedded voice recognition on edge devices and an innovative image sensor for machine vision, robotics, and embedded vision IoT will also be featured.

Phoenix Contact, in keeping with its motto, “Best connectivity for a smart world,” plans to showcase a host of connection technologies for future applications, including for Industry 4.0. Products include LPC/LPCH 6 series PCB connectors for reliable contacting, M12 connectors for industrial applications, the FDX 20 series compact splice boxes for secure connection of fiber optics, the ICS series of modular electronics housings, and its new PTFIX distribution block system with a variety of options for custom solutions.

TDK Corporation will put a spotlight on its range of products, including passive components, sensors, and power supplies, focused on three application areas: automotive, industrial and energy, and information and communication. The company will show how a 4D transponder coil can enable smart car keys to transfer car data via near-field communication (NFC). Other passives on display include TDK’s “Smart Crystal” and piezo actuators for haptic feedback.

Separate booths will showcase TDK’s sensor brands — TDK, InvenSense, Micronas, Chirp, Tronics, and EPCOS. Key highlights include a MEMS ultrasonic time-of-flight sensor and high-accuracy 3D Hall-effect position sensors. TDK will also show its power products including TDK-Lambda’s GENESYS+ family of DC power supply systems that feature DSP technologies and modular power supplies for medical equipment.

Texas Instruments (TI) will feature a variety of products, including its new multiprotocol gigabit (Gb) time-sensitive networking (TSN)-enabled processors for Industry 4.0. Claimed as the industry’s first, the industrial-grade Sitara AM6x processors offer industrial-grade reliability, safety, and enhanced security. The AM6x family offers quad and dual Arm Cortex-A53 variants for factory automation, motor drives and grid infrastructure. TI offers Sitara processor-based development kits through the TI store. These include the AM65x industrial development kit (IDK) (TMDX654IDKEVM) and the AM65x evaluation module (EVM) (TMDX654GPEVM).

1118_Product-Trends_TI

TI’s
AM65x development kit.

For CAN-based automotive and industrial systems, TI’s new controller area network (CAN) flexible data rate (FD) transceivers deliver higher protection and immunity, lower emissions, and increased communications speeds. Suited for the grid infrastructure, building automation, and HEV/EV applications, the transceivers offer a withstand voltage of 5 kVrms and 1-kVrms working voltage in a 35% smaller package size.

One of the industry’s newest wideband-gap semiconductors showcased at the fair is TI’s new portfolio of 600-V GaN 50-mΩ and 70-mΩ power stages to support applications up to 10 kW. TI said, “The family of GaN FET devices provides a smart alternative to traditional cascade and standalone GaN FETs by integrating unique functional and protection features to simplify design, enable greater system reliability, and optimize the performance of high-voltage power supplies.” The LMG3410R050, LMG3410R070, and LMG3411R070 can be used for AC/DC power supplies, robotics, renewable energy, grid infrastructure, telecom, and personal electronics applications.

TI also will feature its new line of single-chip digital temperature sensors that offers ±0.1°C accuracy across a wide temperature range. The TMP117 is designed to simplify design and reduce power consumption (by offering similar performance to platinum resistance temperature detectors [RTDs] that often add design complexity) in industrial and medical applications.

In addition to the range of new products featured at the show, expect to see a lot of interactive demos showcasing use cases from connected lighting to robotics applications and new design tools to speed up component selection and simulation. Some exhibitors will also offer free dev kits. Remember, it’s always first come, first served. Enjoy the show!