Embedded: Technology enables the future, Freescale says

Energy conservation, aging population, and constant connectivity are three major trends that will guide electronics designers over the next several decades, explained Michel Mayer, Freescale Semiconductor chairman and CEO, in opening keynote remarks last week at the third annual Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) Americas.


Orlando, FL —Energy conservation, aging population, and constant connectivity are three major trends that will guide electronics designers over the next several decades, explained Michel Mayer, Freescale Semiconductor chairman and CEO, in opening keynote remarks last week at the third annual Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) Americas , in Orlando, FL.

“Energy conservation, the aging population, and the impact of broadband and constant connectivity are presenting new challenges and business opportunities,” Mayer said. “With a broad portfolio of embedded technologies and systems expertise, Freescale is uniquely positioned to help customers take advantage of these powerful market dynamics.” Mayer noted that those dynamics include increased interest in Freescale. More than 2,300 conference attendees represent a 33% increase from the first event in 2005.

“As these powerful trends are converging in the world around us, Mayer continued, “there is another form of convergence taking place: embedded intelligence, networking and wireless technologies are merging in everything from transportation to consumer electronics. From factories to homes, and from avionics to medical equipment, these three core technologies are increasingly being combined to create new and exciting synergies. Applications that once stood alone are becoming connected and sharing information for more efficient operation. Simple things are gaining intelligence. And extremely complicated tasks are being solved by more simplified, system-level designs.”

Key statistics, according to Mayer:

--Energy costs U.S. consumers $200 billion and manufacturers $100 billion annually. Worldwide energy consumption is expected to increase 50% by 2010.

--Worldwide population currently emits an average of 16 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every 24 hours. So with increased energy consumption, emissions could reach 25 million tons a day by the beginning of the next decade.

--USA, with only 5% of the world’s population, consumes 26% of the world’s energy, or almost 15 times more energy per person than the typical developing country.

--Energy price pressure will increase as markets like China and India become affluent and expand their demand for natural resources.

--Studies show that the U.S. population believes it is important to purchase earth-friendly home products, and almost three-quarters of the population would pay up to 10% more for environmentally friendly products.

--Microcontrollers built on Freescale Power Architecture technology deliver fuel-efficiency, reduce emissions, and improve safety in half of all new vehicles sold, the company says. Freescale helped pioneer the first electronic engine control module. And since its debut in 1980-model cars, average fuel economy has increased by 50% and emissions have decreased by 90%.

--University student competitions funded by Freescale in China and USA aim to continue that trend. Freescale has donated more than $2.2 million in hardware development tools, software and training for its Power Architecture technology-based microcontrollers, the platform for General Motor’s engine control systems.

Freescale is “committed to better execution on new product introduction, shorter lead times, development support and innovative alliances. We can no longer think of our applications in terms of traditional market boundaries. We must redefine the ways we approach energy management,” Mayer concluded. “It is our planet, and improving the standard of living is not going to be useful if it is not a good place to live. Let us go innovate together. Win together. And make the world a cleaner, better, smarter place,” he said.

For more demographics and trends, including health, networking, and connectivity,
a PDF transcript of the Mayer FTF Americas 2007 speech is available .

—Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor, Control Engineering Weekly News
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