Biggest display of industry's confidence

20 October 2010

New Munich Trade Fair Center

electronica 2010 will demonstrate that real confidence has returned to the global electronics industry.

For many years, electronica has provided a biennial shop window for the global electronics industry and, over time, has become the largest event of its kind in the world. electronica 2010 will be held at the New Munich Trade Fair Center (pictured) from November 9 to12 and will cover technologies, products and solutions across the complete spectrum of the electronics industry; from semiconductors, connectors and other electromechanical devices to measuring and testing systems, electronics design and embedded products, passive components, power supplies and PCBs through to EMS and distribution.

As the event draws near, it has become clear that electronica will demonstrate that the electronics industry has regained a lot of confidence following the economic problems of 2008 and has also begun to show very positive signs of growth.

At the time of writing, the show’s organiser Messe München is reporting that the number of exhibiting companies will exceed 2800 - who have taken space across no less than 13 exhibition halls. Exhibition Director Nicole Schmitt is also very confident that visitor levels, at an expected 70,000 plus, will more than prove that the industry is alive and well.

The growth in the industry is supported by numbers from the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association – ZVEI – which predicts an overall increase in sales across the entire industry of around 7% during 2010.

Other data suggests that, in some sectors, this growth figure seems modest. The worldwide semiconductor market was up some 56% in the 12 months to February 2010 and the makers of passive components, electro-mechanical devices, LEDs and other optoelectronic products are all reporting a very positive upward sales trend.

As usual, electronica 2010 will be much more than simply an exhibition where companies show product to visitors. There is a comprehensive conference programme supported by single subject forums, a CEO Round Table where key industry executives discuss major industry topics in front of an inquisitive audience and, this time, across the whole trade fair, a green, renewable energy and energy conservation theme will be very evident.

There is also a show called Hybridica running alongside the main electronica event aimed at the latest developments in a technology that will gain ground in the next couple of years. It is the coming together of metal and plastic in the new hybrid components that will find wide application across many industry sectors including automotive, medical and consumer electronics where particular electrical and mechanical characteristics are required.

So let’s look at electronica 2010 The show helps its visitors by allocating exhibition halls to key industry sectors.

Having said that, general visitors have quite a daunting task reviewing all 13 halls! Many, however, attend the show to look at the latest in specific product areas and are therefore able to spend their time in one or two halls looking at exhibits from the majority of significant players in one particular area of technology such as semiconductors, optoelectronics, test and measurement and power supplies. In many of these exhibition halls, electronica brings together the largest number of companies from a single industry source in one venue.

Power Supply Technology
A perfect example of this can be found in Hall B2 where practically every significant manufacturer and distributor of power supply products has reserved space and will be presenting power solutions ranging in size from small plug-top units for charging and powering portable devices, to large multimegawatt inverters designed to convert the output of solar and wind powered renewable energy systems.

Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of power supplies designed to meet the requirements of the Energy Star programme as well as many examples of the latest thinking in inverter technology as consumers and businesses adopt renewable energy solutions to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.

The Energy Star programme was created in the United States and has since been adopted in many parts of the world including the European Union. Power supplies that carry the Energy Star logo have demonstrated that they use less energy in operation particularly in “sleep mode” and can reduce the total cost of ownership of products and systems including computers, computer peripherals and home appliances.

Of particular interest to those who build or specify data centres or server farms will be the first showing of several AC/DC frontends developed to meet the efficiency levels of the 80 PLUS Climate Savers programme.

80 PLUS is a certification and incentive programme funded and promoted by energy efficiency organisations and electric utilities to encourage users to specify and then integrate more energy efficient power supplies into IT equipment and servers.

Within the 80 PLUS certification programme, power supplies are tested and then graded according to their efficiency levels. They are then given bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification with platinum requiring efficiency levels of up to 94% across multiple load conditions. Several manufacturers will be showing 80 PLUS platinum front-ends which, although more expensive at first, will allow users to save on energy costs while reducing the carbon footprint of energy-hungry server farms and IT centres.

Many exhibitors are planning to announce, or show in public for the first time, a number of new developments designed to raise the performance bar in power density, efficiency and price/performance.

Conferences and Forums
In addition to the ever present energy efficiency and energy conservation themes that visitors will see throughout every exhibition hall, electronica 2010 will also stage a series of conferences and forums which will present the very latest developments and thinking across subjects that are considered vital to the future of the electronics industry.

These conference and forum topics will include automotive electronics, wireless technology, medical electronics, displays and e-signage or digital signage, embedded systems and MEMS technology.

Automotive Electronics
As well as a large automotive-related presence within the exhibition itself, there will be an automotive forum and the ever popular electronica automotive conference will be staged on November 8 and 9. A key subject will be how the electronics industry can help automotive manufacturers further their electro-mobility ambitions. This question will be one of the most important topics at the electronica automotive conference “electronics meets automotive” which begins in the Munich International Congress Center one day before the start of electronica itself.

During this conference, executives from the global car, automotive component supply and electronics industries will present technologies, solution approaches and strategies with which the industry is intending to tackle the challenges in coming years. The programme will include questions relating to markets, strategies and technologies for automobile electronics.

Around 20 per cent of exhibitors will present solutions for automobile electronics in the exhibition halls. On all four days of the trade fair, the Automotive Forum in Hall A6 will feature talks and podium discussions on topics such as power supply or key components in electro-mobility. The conference language will be English.

Wireless Technology
The electronica Wireless Congress will be held on November 11 and will focus on the future of wireless technology and its many applications. Wireless technology in all its forms plays a key role in computing and communications and its importance is set to grow dramatically as our thirst to access the internet from anywhere gathers pace.

From RFID security in retail outlets to smart metering and intelligent domestic appliances through to today’s data phones and ZigBee and Bluetooth compatible products, wireless technology is big business.

The conference programme, which is yet to be finalised, will cover the latest standards, key technology developments and discuss how wireless solutions will come to affect everyone.

Medical Electronics
The medical electronics sector is recognised as one of the most innovative and profitable areas of the electronics industry. Jochen Franke, Chairman of the ZVEI Electromedical Technology Professional Association, has said: "The future of the international market for health and medical technology lies in the modernisation of the health infrastructure.”

According to the Californian market research institute Databeans, the medical sector is currently achieving an annual worldwide growth of as much as 11 percent.

In Germany alone, revenue in 2009 reached EUR 1.15 billion (source: ZVEI). Virtually all key innovations in medical technology will involve a high level of electronics expertise making medical technology reliant on solutions and products from the electronics industry.

Those present at electronica’s Medical Electronics Forum will learn from companies such as Freescale, Heimann Sensor and EBV Elektronik who plan to showcase the latest portable medical apparatus such as blood sugar testers and pulse meters, implantable blood pressure sensors and remote monitoring and control systems for pacemakers. New developments will be highlighted through presentations and a panel discussion in a session on Thursday, November 11, at the electronica Forum in Hall A3.


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