2007 predictions: HMI, embedded, wireless, networks


Scottsdale, AZ, Oak Brook, IL —Key predictions for 2007 will influence certain markets that cross into industrial automation-human machine interface, wireless, embedded controls, and industrial networks among them—suggests In-Stat , a technology research firm. In-Stat and Control Engineering both are part of Reed Business Information. "In-Stat Predictions—2007," a white paper, covers high-definition television; software, devices, and semiconductors; networks and security; and wireless; while looking at how last year's predictions turned out.

Some key In-Stat predictions follow, along with Control Engineering commentary on what that could mean for industrial automation.

In-Stat says high-definition TV programming increasingly will become available via broadband Ethernet. Control Engineering says that as such technologies become more available for home use, they will find their way into manufacturing plants for training, online help, human machine interfaces, status displays for control room metrics, and industrial networks.

Microprocessor manufacturers Intel and AMD will have a turn-around year. Industrial automation and controls will continue to incorporate more powerful processors and software in their devices and systems.

Wireless USB, by year-end, becomes PC-based reality, even on motherboards. Few PC-based technologies haven't been used or modified for use as industrial controllers, monitoring, and data acquisition.

ZigBee will deploy at 5,000 or more nodes in a least one major distribution center (such as Federal Express, Target, UPS). ZigBee continues among wireless industrial network options.

Handheld GPS, booming in 2007, will find additional applications in manufacturing and process control.

Among 2006 predictions come true: 65 nm wafer production begins at leading installations and details of 45 nm process get solidified. Dual-core processor use sees most rapid adoption in servers; PCs largely stay with lower-cost single core processors.

For more about the In-Stat 2007 predictions white paper, click here .

To check what Control Engineering has been saying, type your favorite buzzword in the search box atop www.controleng.com .

—Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief

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