STMicroelectronics' Asia-Pac EVP Marco Cassis believes intelligence will finally penetrate homes, roads and the floors of factories this year.
« Previously: Key trends for 2017
Cities and homes will take another step in the adoption of electronics-based management systems. In the home, smart meters are being rolled out around the world to enable remote monitoring and tariff-based optimisation of energy use, while homes owners will increasingly adopt a broad range of smart locks and connected security systems as well as household robotics.
Smart lighting will expand from the home to municipal-area systems, with new public lighting able to respond to changes in ambient conditions. At the city level, think about sensors that can reroute pickup/delivery services and traffic patterns to changing congestion or can guide drivers to pre-registered and reserved parking spaces – these are the opportunities in smart cities that will contribute to semiconductor growth in 2017 and beyond.
Factories, too, will be getting smarter. Global efforts, which fall under the umbrella of “Smart Industry,” are defining the next wave of factory automation, motion control, and power management equipment. The factories of the future are rapidly becoming factories of the present because they are enabled by semiconductors.
These “intelligent” factories employ advanced microcontrollers, sensors, and connectivity products to increase production and overall efficiency by reducing energy use and downtime with optimized maintenance schedules while simultaneously improving process flow and data security. One example: electric motors, which consume about half of all electricity used worldwide, could be made even more efficient using a range of Smart Motor strategies that could reduce costs significantly.
What was started just a few years ago — the pervasiveness of IoT in multiple markets and the efforts to make driving smarter — is just the beginning. This is what is making 2017 another promising year for the semiconductor industry.
Marco Cassis is executive VP for the Asia Pacific region at STMicroelectronics.