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Betting on Innovation and Disruption

Dec. 2, 2022
We’re ramping up for 2023 as our 70th anniversary comes to a close.

This article is part of the Innovators 2022 issue.

As the holidays roll around, we look forward to 2023 while recognizing many of the innovators and leaders in the electronics industry. This issue also takes a look at the disruptive technologies and events affecting how designers, engineers and programmers tackle new projects and designs. The options have never been greater and the turnaround time has shrunk. Details like availability have transformed from a second thought to a primary checklist item.

Electronic Design has been celebrating its 70th anniversary with a look back at the plethora of products, technologies, and innovations that has brought us to this point, such as 35 years of flash memory advances. We’re also anticipating what 2023 holds in terms of new challenges and options that will inspire engineers, like quantum computing.

The number of disruptions and innovations is mind-boggling and it’s extrapolating. And ignoring them isn’t an option. For example, commercial quantum computing hasn’t yet arrived, but the time until it does is shrinking. One impact of this technology is the ability to attack our existing public-key security systems among other possibilities. Luckily, new standards are almost ready to address this post-quantum public-key cryptography issue.

Incorporating such new crypto technology in existing systems tends to be easier given the over-the-air (OTA) updates available in many—but not all—products. Likewise, the memory space and performance to handle these changes also must be addressed. That’s because chips and applications often are optimized for existing standards, which have different requirements, plus maintaining the older support may be required in many instances.

But this is just one example of what programmers and engineers need to contend with. There are structural issues as well. For example, the migration to cloud-based, subscription-based support is a boon to the bottom line of many companies. However, it’s become an increasing cost to users and developers. It’s not as if there’s no new benefit. In this case, though, maintaining the benefit has a cost.

Even car and chip manufacturers are getting into the game with dynamic enablement of features from turbo mode to advanced handling. Add this to the walled garden already built up around platforms and it gives much greater import to a designer’s upfront choice. Plus, you need to understand the implications as well as the advantages to make a good choice.

Luckily, there are innovators and leaders who are discovering and delivering many of the solutions we need to improve the systems and services we’re designing.

Read more articles in the Innovators 2022 issue.

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