VP, Military & Aerospace Business Sector, Aitech Defense Systems
We’re having to allocate our design teams across
different engineering work, essentially splitting
resources between sustaining projects—including
redesigning and extending product lifecycles for
the military/defense market—and developing
future products through independent research and
development (IRAD) as well as innovation.
Embedded Computer Architect, Elma Electronic; and Michael Munroe,
Technical Product Specialist, Elma Electronic
Robust, high-speed connectors for boards and chassis
will mean that speed and robustness no longer need
to be mutually exclusive. Also, much of the emerging
technology will leverage mapping data, remote sensing,
and optical recognition.
The complexity of these tasks, and need to provide
real-time data to mobile clients, will drive an increasing
number of these tasks to the cloud, where more powerful
processing engines will allow this processing to be done by
generalized computer resources. FPGAs with optical I/O
and neural processing will allow the development of even
more powerful cards and systems. Of course, cooling will
need to advance to keep up with the power that will be
consumed by these components.
What technological challenge(s) do you think your
industry will help to improve/solve in the near future?
The power electronics industry can help solve the
wireless power transfer challenge. In reality, the power
electronics industry has always been engaged in some
aspects of wireless power transfer, especially in near-
field applications. Near-field transfer has been widely
used in mobile phone charging, where a mobile phone
equipped with a receiving circuit is placed on a charging
pad. The next challenge is the mid-range application,
where the mobile phone is located at some distance
from the transmitter, such that charging can occur
while the user has the phone with them. A number of
problems need to be solved, such as transfer efficiency,
available power and electromagnetic interference as
well as involving different disciplines in power
electronics, such as materials, semiconductor devices,
software, and protocols.
Managing Director, Industrial & Healthcare Business Unit,
Factory automation is an area that the semiconductor
industry can help advance in the near future. Successfully
creating smart factories calls for:
• The ability to communicate with equipment starting
from the factory floor level.
• Creating smart sensors and actuators that enable
production lines to perform adaptive manufacturing.
When this happens, a single production line can be
remotely reconfigured to manufacture a variety of
different products, leading to economies of scale and
a better ROI.
• Integrated diagnostics to support predictive
maintenance, which keeps the manufacturing line up
and running continually for increased productivity.
For IC manufacturers, these Industry 4.0 challenges
represent new opportunities to apply advanced process
technologies to enhance power efficiency and lower
power consumption. Increased integration is also
important, in order to reduce component footprints
inside the programmable logic controllers (PLC), the
brains behind automated factories.
Executive Director, Industrial & Healthcare Business Unit,
Literally every piece of electronic equipment needs
to be powered. Power and thermal management is
a challenge now, and will continue to be in the near
future. There will be continued demands for smaller
size, higher energy efficiency, low heat dissipation,
longer battery life, reduced carbon footprint, and
increased power density. For high-power data centers,
medium-power industrial applications, and low-power
ROUNDTABLE MODERATED BY JENNIFER DELAOSA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR