Show News Range from Launched Initiatives to New Products from Eleven Major Distributors
As the worlds largest show for electronic components, Electronica is a valuable forum for distributors seeking to cultivate customers, pursue new sales opportunities and highlight new products, services and offerings. While there are no official numbers for the 2018 show yet, Electronica 2016 boasted 2,913 exhibitors from 50 countries and 73,451 visitors from 84 countries. Given the stronger economic environment and robust market conditions it is anticipated that participation in Electronica 2018 will expand as it adds a new exhibition hall for a total of 16 halls and launches a new conference for a total of four conferences. In addition, there are multiple presentations throughout the show.
Nine of the top ten distributors in the Source Today rankings are participating in the show as well as fourteen of the top eighteen distributors. Overall, 35 distributors are exhibiting at Electronica this year. (However, many major distributors are not listed under the distribution category in the show directory.) In the week leading up to the show and at the start of the show almost all major distributors promoted news stories that served to profile key messages they are presenting at the exhibition. The range of news releases reveal a diversified approach to their efforts to create excitement for their latest offerings at the show this year. The sections below present a concise summary of the news highlights from the major distributors at Electronica 2018.
Arrow Electronics, Inc.
Arrow announced the expansion of their distribution agreement with Cree, Inc. to include RF and power products from Cree’s Wolfspeed division. The announcement positions Arrow to be Cree’s largest global distributor for Wolfspeed’s industry-leading silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) on SiC product portfolio. Arrow featured an IoT-connected 150 kW off-board charging station that relies upon Wolfspeed’s SiC technology in their booth.
Avnet and Octonion, an Intelligent Edge IoT software provider, are creating a category of IoT solutions called “Meta-Sensing” that combines hardware and software that will allow engineers at any level to develop and deploy IoT solutions built with AI in as little as six to eight months. The first Meta-Sensing product, SmartEdge Agile, that will be built by Avnet and powered by the STM32 from ST Microelectronics, is an IoT device integrated with Octonion’s Brainium AI software to enable AI and security at the edge.
“Today, the majority of industrial companies planning to launch an IoT project are in the prototype phase, with each project usually taking 18 to 24 months. To help reduce time to market and related costs, developers are turning to AI technologies, but require new approaches to be successful,” said Lou Lutostanski, global vice president of IoT for Avnet. “Together, Avnet and Octonion are creating an industry-leading Meta-Sensing IoT solution that will quickly and cost efficiently allow customers to take their IoT project from idea to design, and prototype to production.”
In the week leading up to the start of Electronica, Future Electronics announced five high-profile products they are adding to their portfolio. The first four products are featured in its latest edition of its Sense-Connect-Control solution:
- MBN52832 size-optimized Bluetooth 5.0 LE from Murata is a Bluetooth Low Energy module that enables ultra-low power connectivity for data communication. The product integrates Nordic Bluetooth Low Energy IC, RF front end, antenna, and crystal, making it an ideal solution for Internet of Things (IOT) applications.
- The latest WICED 802.11ac Wi-Fi Evaluation Kit from Cypress features the industry-leading CYW54907 802.11ac dual-band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) Wi-Fi Wireless MCU. This is a highly integrated, small footprint single-chip solution with an embedded Arm®Cortex®-R4. It is supported in Cypress’ WICED Studio SDK, supports WPA and WPA2 for powerful encryption/authentication, and has integrated hardware engines for AES and TKIP for faster data encryption.
- The BMA400 from Bosch is the first real ultra-low-power acceleration sensor that doesn’t compromise on performance. Featuring continuous measurement combined with very low power, the BMA400 allows low-noise acceleration measurements for power-critical applications. Offering additional power management features and activity tracking, it enables the reduction of power consumption at the system level.
- Panasonic’s Passive Infrared (PIR) Motion Sensors product line has expanded significantly with the EKMB and EKMC series, which deliver analog output, new lenses, and new sensitivities for digital output. Panasonic’s PIR motion sensors use simplified circuitry with fully integrated sensor design, and with only one micro ampere current consumption, they are suitable for battery-driven wireless equipment and are no-lead (Pb) eco-friendly sensors.
- NXP’s LPC8N04 is a cost-effective MCU which serves as an entry-level connectivity solution for embedded applications with integrated NFC connectivity. The LPC8N04 MCU has many features that are ideal for medical applications, including several power-down modes and a selectable CPU frequency of up to 8 MHz for ultra-low power consumption.
Two new offerings were announced by Digi-Key leading up to Electronica:
- A new design tool called the DK IoT Studio™. The DK IoT Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) that aims to provide a radically simple way for developers and providers to create IoT solutions. The DK IoT Studio allows you to go from idea to prototype in minutes without writing any code. The new tool, developed in partnership with Atmosphere IoT, has an intuitive user interface along with drag-and-drop functionality. Simply dragging sensors, processors, and other library elements and dropping them onto the design panel allows a user to make connections and start collecting data and sending it to a mobile device or the cloud.
- A distribution agreement for GigaDevice's large range of Serial NOR and low-density NAND products with competitive lead times. The GigaDevice product portfolio features a wide variety of NOR Flash densities at 512Kb to 512Mb, with higher densities of 1Gb and 2Gb coming soon, in a variety of packages including the smallest USON package for densities up to 8-Mbit (1.5 x 1.5 mm). NAND products, including SLC and OnFi NANDs with densities of 1Gb, 2Gb and 1Gb respectively. GigaDevice will be offering 4 and 8Gb SLC NANDs in the first half of 2019.
Leading up to Electronica, Glyn Dennehy, President EMEA, highlighted that, “What is special about this year is our improved warehouse distribution center. With increased capacity and capability, we brought online more than 25,000 square meters of incremental warehouse space; dedicating three times the existing cubic meters of the facility.”
Of great value to the marketplace, TTI, Inc has launched a new online resource to provide customers with the most recent information regarding the global shortage of multi-layered ceramic capacitors (MLCCs). The resource landing page, located within the TTI website’s MarketEYE section, features updates from TTI executives and corporate product experts detailing how the company is responding to the crisis and outlining policies affecting existing and potential new customers.
TTI is dedicated to providing complete transparency as to how the leading distributor is not just dealing with the challenge, but actively working to expand MLCC production by working directly with supplier manufacturers as the industry scrambles to deal with growing demand and reduced supplies of the critical component. Additionally, the landing page provides links to current press information concerning the history of how the shortage came to be, outlooks as to how the industry is responding at the design engineering stages, MLCC manufacturing, and the components distribution networks for these hard to obtain parts.
A third section of the microsite provides current information from TTI premier suppliers to give customers first-hand information about how individual companies on the TTI line card are responding to the shortage.
RS Components (Electrocomponents plc)
RS Components, a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, is playing a major part in the inaugural “electronica Experience.” Taking place in the brand-new Hall C6, the electronica Experience aims to deliver advice and a first-hand technology experience to young people to help inspire them to pursue a career in engineering. As well as exhibiting on its main stand, RS is using its additional 224m² space in Hall C6 to present Titan II, its 35-tonne interactive touring truck, which brings innovation to life by providing a range of STEM-based educational demos and activities in the interactive display zones. In addition, RS will have a series of FIRST® LEGO® League demonstrations and will be providing visitors with the opportunity to play with the Sphero SPRK+® STEAM educational robot.
RS is also sponsoring and hosting a panel discussion entitled: “Hyperloop: pioneering the future of transportation.” The panel discussion will comprise student teams from across Europe that have successfully made it through to the final stages of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. The competition challenges student teams to design, and potentially build, a subscale prototype transport vehicle to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the Hyperloop concept.
Smith announced its plan to demonstrate its flexible supply chain solutions, procurement services, and localized support designed to empower global manufacturers. They also highlighted the foundation of product testing and counterfeit detection that safeguards product quality even in the most tumultuous of supply chain conditions.
On the opening morning of Electronica, Mouser highlighted its large expansion of its global headquarters and distribution center. Construction will soon begin on a new 127,500 sq. ft. (11,845 sq. m) distribution center extension, which follows a previous large expansion that included more warehouse space and the addition of an employee fitness center and medical clinic, all completed within the last two years. Mouser also plans to add a new building on the company’s 78-acre campus to house customer service teams.
Mouser made the following announcements to kick-off the show:
- A new partnership with SamacSys, a global leader in electronic component library solutions. Under the new partnership Mouser will provide its customers with a range of free design resources including PCB footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models for more than 1.1 million components. These design resources work seamlessly with top engineering CAD systems, including Cadence, Altium and other programs. The new service will be available free to Mouser customers around the world on millions of Mouser’s product detail pages featuring components from leading manufacturers. More importantly, SamacSys will fully support all of Mouser's new product introductions, giving engineers access to a current, high-quality library of PCB footprints, schematic symbols, and 3D models for the newest available components.
- A global distribution agreement with Sigfox, the world's leading Internet of Things (IoT) services provider. Through the agreement, Sigfox Sens'it Discovery solution and SDR dongle are now available at Mouser. Sens'it Discovery is a customizable IoT solution that combines the Sens'it 3 device with the sensit.io application, along with Sigfox connectivity. With battery life of up to one year depending on use and frequency of messages, the device incorporate six different sensors (thermometer, hygrometer, light meter, accelerometer, magnetometer, reed switch) and a central button for multiple use cases. The device works in any of the 53 countries and regions where Sigfox has coverage and can be configured to communicate in multiple areas with different Sigfox Radio Configurations (RC) RC1, RC2, RC3, or RC4. Sens'it offers a dedicated software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to create their own firmware, rewrite the Sens'it behavior, and use it for their own use case. This makes Sens'it device a powerful and versatile device for anyone who wants to start with the IoT.
Premier Farnell made three announcements about new tools and products:
- An AI Configurator tool that allows engineers to quickly select the most appropriate development solution for their artificial intelligence (AI) projects. Featuring products available from Premier Farnell, the new configurator enables users to identify the development boards associated add-on board, accessories and software that best meet their needs from a wide range of vendors. This ensures that they work on a board that provides the optimum support they require, speeding up development without the need for unnecessary and time-consuming research.
The tool allows searches for AI applications in the following sectors:
- Predictive maintenance
- Voice recognition
- Object or human recognition
- Motion recognition
- Machine learning
Engineers can then select the sensors they need from:
- Environmental sensing (heat, pressure etc.)
- Motion sensing
- Proximity sensing
- Audio sensing
- Image sensing
The AI configurator tool also allows engineers to select long- or short-range wireless communications and dynamically changes the options available, so users can always see which combinations of features are available and which are not.
- The expansion of its linecard by adding a number of new manufacturers to its portfolio
- Osram Opto Semiconductors, a key player in the opto-electronics semiconductor market, with more than 40 years’ experience developing cutting-edge products in the fields of illumination, visualisation and sensor technology. This agreement delivers high-performance light-emitting diodes (LEDs), infrared emitters, lasers and sensors to its range.
- Nidec Copal,is the market-leading manufacturer of optical, electronic and mechanical equipment including switches, fans and potentiometers bringing products suitable for the medical, automotive, industrial, and white goods sectors.
- Taoglas, a leading supplier of antennas and filters, provide a comprehensive range of external, embedded and base station antenna solutions for M2M applications. The products support industry applications including Automotive, Smart Grid, Metering, Telemetry, Home Automation and Medical.
- Launched an e-book entitled “The Embedded Interviews 2018” featuring the views of several leading experts in the embedded systems sector. The book was launched at the electronica 2018. “Recent advances in embedded systems design are allowing engineers and makers to use off-the-shelf hardware and software to create complex products faster and more easily than ever before”, says Ralf Buehler, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, at Premier Farnell and Farnell element 14. “Today’s microcontrollers are generally differentiated by on-chip peripherals and software from the vendors, who are no longer just suppliers of silicon, and these interviews with some of the leading engineers in the largest and most innovative embedded processor companies reveal how they build knowledge of the needs of their customers to deliver optimal solutions to the challenges of developing modern embedded products.” The interviews cover a range of topics, including views about tools, predictions on the future of the embedded market and an overview of embedded products
Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH
Rutronik announced plans to showcase a series of product application demonstrations, and also focus on technical and supply chain issues, including the current state of passive components, security, Industry 4.0 and battery management. FAEs advised customers and explained the exhibited projects in these areas:
- High-voltage heater from Webasto
- AC charging station from Webasto
- Laser demo by Osram
- Connectors for automotive use from Molex
- Artificial intelligence demo by Intel
- Security demo by Swissbit
- Industrial TFTs from URT
- Passive matrix OLEDs from Raystar
- EfusG1C demo by F&S
- Standard capacitors versus polymer hybrid capacitors: demo by Panasonic
- Robotics demo by Infineon
- Spin motor control from ST
- Battery management system demo by Rutronik in cooperation with several manufacturers
- Rotary switch solutions from Infineon, Melexis and TDK Micronas
- Predictive maintenance technologies from multiple manufacturers
- Sensor-to-cloud demo by Telit, Intel and Tianma
- Security solutions for industrial automation
Fusion Worldwide employed an active social media campaign to deliver its messages at the show. In addition to promotional messages it also delivered the following informational tweets:
- Lead times for diodes are not expected to improve anytime soon.
- "'Those waiting for an end to current component shortages will be disappointed,’ says COO of Fusion Worldwide, Paul Romano, 'as MLCC lead times extend to six months or more.’”
- Sales of optoelectronics, sensors and discrete semiconductors increased 11 percent due to price spikes and shortages.
- The global supply of MOSFETs remains very tight, mainly due to increased demand in new applications and insufficient supply of wafers.
- As companies place IoT sensors on more objects, the volume of data will continue to grow, says Bob Violino of Network World.
- An audit of distributor inventories showed that levels were so low a price hike was warranted.