2019 already looks like a fantastic year, and some significant trends and innovations seem to be transforming the industry in more ways than one. As a result, STMicroelectronics (ST) thought it’d be interesting to delve into the technologies that should make the next twelve months interesting.

Predictive Maintenance

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Predictive maintenance is a new era for industrial applications made possible thanks to serious advances in sensors among others. For instance, capacitive MEMS, can now replace piezoelectric ones to create systems that are a lot more affordable with no perceivable impact on performance.

More Cloud Integration

There’s a bright future in the cloud, and we are continuously working to help developers as they include more features in their applications and more easily call an extensive array of APIs. More companies are partnering with one another to ensure developers can take advantage of complex features faster and 2019 should continue this trend.

More Cloud Connectivity

More cloud integration also means more IoT connectivity. 2018 was an exciting year, and it's easy to imagine that developers will continue to enjoy development platforms that make it simpler and more efficient to connect to the Internet and many are waiting to see how sub-gigahertz networks will play a more significant part in our lives.

The Resurgence of V2X

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We’ve been talking about V2X (Vehicle to Everything) communication for a while now, but the industry is suddenly paying attention with many telecommunication operators and car manufacturers demonstrating the possibilities inherent to this technology. It will thus be interesting to see where this discussion will lead us. There are significant advantages inherent to such solutions when it comes to safety and efficiency, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), but there are also many implementation challenges and concerns, such as privacy and information security.

Silicon Carbide Brings Electric Vehicles to All

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Now that the first electric cars with Silicon Carbide MOSFETs and SiC Diodes are officially available, we can expect that more car manufacturers will adopt the new material. Its wider bandgap makes it a perfect component for this platform and we can only assume that the industry will use this technology to shrink and integrate power modules to simplify designs and reduce costs. SiC will not completely replace more traditional Silicon power components. They each have their place in a vehicle, but as the demand for SiC increases, we can expect massive changes in the power modules of electric cars.

Phenomenal Power in Itty-Bitty Space

Power devices continue to do more in smaller packages, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. For example, in 2018, STMicroelectronics (ST) introduces first Qi Extended Power Profile wireless charging transmitter (STWBC-MC) capable of using three coils. It was also compatible with the wireless fast charging protocols of all the major smartphone vendors to improve the user’s experience. As wireless charging becomes ubiquitous, the consumer will enjoy an increase in efficiency and interoperability. The dream in which people can put their phone on almost any surface to start charging is slowly becoming a reality thanks to significant advances in power devices.

Contactless Payment on All Wearables

It is highly symbolic because manufacturers no longer have to invest in expensive machines to implement a tokenization feature at the factory. As a result, the industry is increasingly talking about turning all wearables into payment systems, which will require the credit card issuers to come up with clear protocols and will most likely lead to more partnerships between makers of NFC components and TSMs.

More Knowledge, More Power

Education was a priority in 2018, and it will still be so in 2019. Building a comprehensive platform was in itself a great accomplishment, but being able to use it to teach the next generation of innovators and allow them to work on machine learning projects by themselves is what all about.

2019: The Year of Machine Learning?

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Machine learning itself continues to be a significant topic of discussion because it opens the door to efficiencies and features that were just impossible until a few years ago. It will thus be interesting to see how this branch of artificial intelligence shapes tomorrow’s embedded systems.