SUNNYVALE, USA: The industrial market is outgrowing nearly every other market segment and driving growth for analog integrated circuits (ICs), according to Chris Neil, senior VP of the Industrial and Medical Solutions Group at Maxim Integrated Products Inc.
Data from a number of industry sources shows that industrial was the fastest-growing market for analog ICs from 2006-2011 at a 9 percent annual rate. From 2011-2015, industrial is projected to be the second fastest-growing market for analog semiconductors at a continued 9 percent annual growth (behind mobility at 13 percent).
Electronics, particularly analog and mixed-signal solutions, help solve expensive global problems such as reducing factory operating costs, lowering the cost of energy production necessary to meet the ever-increasing electricity demand, and mitigating skyrocketing healthcare costs. End systems designed to address these issues, including factory automation equipment, smart meters, and portable medical devices, are driving demand for analog ICs in the global industrial market.
"Industrial's surprising rate of growth is counterintuitive, possibly due to its brick and smoke-stack image," said Neil. "However, the 'industrial reality' is that industrial systems companies are addressing big problems that affect us as individuals and as societies, and it is, in fact, a very dynamic and relevant market segment. Electronics will help solve these problems by deploying real-time predictive maintenance in factories to increase the availability of high-quality goods to larger audiences, by reducing peak energy demand by using and distributing energy more efficiently through an optimized smart grid, and by lowering healthcare costs by reducing expensive hospital stays by employing wearable and portable monitoring devices."
All of these industrial applications require accurate measurement, robust communications, and security. "These are Maxim's strengths, and we also have the 'extra accelerator'…analog integration," said Neil. "By combining multiple functions onto one piece of silicon, we can increase system performance, reduce power consumption, make devices more portable, and lower their cost."