6 DAVID MANTEY | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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At EDS 2014, Dale Ford, vice president
of IHS Technology,
offered some eye-open-
ing predictions, partic-
ularly for the consumer
electronics market, in his
presentation, “The Big
Picture, Ideas and Opportunities.”
“We’re going through dramatic change,
and that change is accelerating from being an
intelligent device to being a networked device
– and it’s generating a lot of data,” says Ford.
Of his many prognostications, Ford discussed the inevitable zettaflood of zettabytes.
What exactly is a zettabyte? A zettabyte is
1021 bytes, or the informational equivalent of
more than 200 billion DVDs. In 2011, unique
information generated totaled 1.2 zettabytes.
By 2016, Cisco estimates that global IP traffic
will reach 1.3 zettabytes per year.
According to Ford, the technology revolutionizing our world is part of the “CE 3.0”
transition that is steered by a number of
product categories, including smartphones,
tablets, wearable electronics, the Internet of
Everything (IoE), the cloud, smart homes, 3D
printing, and solid state lighting.
CE 3.0 by the numbers:
• Of the 1.6 billion mobile phones produced
last year, one billion were smartphones.
• By 2017, 70 percent of all PCs will fit into
the ultra thin category, completely replacing the notebook as we know it.
• The spectrum of wearable technologies
“shows the many different applications in
an exciting, high growth sector,” including smart clothing, smart watches, and
fitness accessories. Wearables represent a
$10 billion industry from 105 million units
today. Ford predicts 250 million units by
2018 in a market segment estimated to
grow to $35 billion.
• All devices with a display will grow by a
40 to 50 percent share.
• By 2018, 175 million devices will be
• Smart watches, which sold 33 million
units in 2013, will grow to nearly 100
million units by 2018. Ford stresses while
early smart watch reviews have been bru-
tal, we “need to remember that these are
first generation devices.”
As Ford moved on to the ever elusive In-
ternet of Things (Io T), he described a dras-
tically bigger vision that goes well beyond
M2M communications and what is currently
happening in the industrial space. “Nothing
is safe from the influence of electronics,” Ford
says. “The future of the digitally connected
world includes millions of apps, billions of
devices, and trillions of sensors.”
The forecasted growth includes 50 billion
Io T units installed by 2025. These are con-
nected devices that collect data, offer access to
data, provide complex analytics, and unique
value. All of this information will be housed
in the cloud, which Ford says “will revalue
and touch everything.”
The cloud will eventually take all data
types, store it in various places, and on various
devices. This potential for fast, large volumes of
a wide variety of data is “an entirely new scien-
tific frontier.” We may not have a steadfast solu-
tion in place now, but at least we have a term
coined (Big Data). Now all the industry needs is
to find a way to move beyond buzzwords and
monetize the potential.
Potential losers during this transition include
hardware-centric device OEMs without a cloud
service strategy. “If your designs have not anticipated the cloud, you’ll be in trouble,” Ford says.
What I find most exciting is that this innovation is not achievable without the design
engineer. Sometimes when analysts and executives become mired in stats, it’s a little too
easy to forget the bright minds in cube farms
across the globe that make it all possible.
What’s your take? Email david.mantey@
advantagemedia.com with questions and comments.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Jeff Bader, Micron Technology
Harrison Beasley, Global Semiconductor Alliance
Tom Donofrio, Central Semiconductor Corp.
Christian Fell, FRABA Inc.
Joshua Israelsohn, JAS Technical Media
Dan Jones, Motor/Motion Controls expert
Aimee Kalnoskas, Trusted Global Buyers Network (TGBN)
Anthony Le, Spansion
Ron Moore, Avnet Electronics Marketing
David Niewolny, Freescale Semiconductor
Robbie Paul, Digi-Key
Steve Sargeant, The Marvin Group
Aung Thet Tu, Fairchild Semiconductor