This article is part of the 2023 Electronic Design Technology Forecast issue.
We like to start the year off taking a broad view of where things are headed in the electronics industry. But there’s really too much to cram into one single article, so we don’t take that approach.
Instead, we have an online digital forecast issue that includes a collection of forecast and trend articles from experts and pundits across our industry, highlighting the latest topics from 6G to electric vehicles to new chip tools and design techniques. You can even check out a few trends highlighted in our sister Endeavor Business Media publications. And we have lots more, with multiple articles and reports on the way.
Trying to figure out what’s coming, what’s available now, and what’s worthwhile to incorporate into a product is a never-ending challenge for engineers, programmers, and developers dealing with embedded systems. Rapid advances are occurring in every aspect of design from power management to machine learning (ML).
In terms of ML, even designers of artificial-intelligence (AI) accelerators are having to contend with new ML models that don’t fit their current hardware designs. Luckily, a wide array of applications will work with the current crop of models; thus, ML-enhanced or -equipped chips are finding homes in products that take advantage of fast recognition and identification. Applications that can exploit AI/ML are becoming more common as new approaches are being delivered by software and hardware vendors.
Quantum computing is another area to watch. Delivery of quantum-computing hardware for everyday use is a long way away, but more focused uses and platforms are on the horizon. The impact on security is accelerating, something our TechXchange on Quantum Computing and Security is already covering.
Don’t think that these high-powered trends are the only game in town this year. Old trends continue to evolve, like the migration of microcontrollers from 8 to 32 bits. Hardware retirement and supply-chain issues are forcing hard-to-overlook trends.
Speaking of computing on the edge, we’ve been keeping an eye on Matter. It’s one of the worst names to find on the internet because the word “matter” is so common. Matter was big at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, at least behind the scenes. We talked with all of the major electronics and software vendors at the show and haven’t seen this level of cooperation in quite a while.
Matter is useless by itself. Instead, it’s built to link the plethora of protocols together so that a wireless switch from one vendor can turn on the lights from another without the consumer needing to worry about which walled garden they exist in.
Anyway, this year doesn’t look to be boring. For instance, we could be seeing some interesting things in augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR). Stay tuned.