Electronic components keep our smart world going

For the past 15 years or so, the world had become smarter than ever.

COVID 19 has led to a boom in gaming tech
Gaming technologies use sophisticated sensors

We have relied increasingly on individual smart devices, smart homes and buildings, factories, cities, transportation and smart energy. The list is non-exhaustive and our lives have been transformed like never before in such a short time.

Virtual contacts

At the start of the year, this transformation took a somewhat unexpected turn with the news of an unknown virus, which began to spread throughout the world, resulting in lockdown measures in many countries.

People were confined to their homes, where they worked and studied, and kept in contact with friends and co-workers, teachers and students through video conferencing applications.

Entertainment

With cinemas, theatres, concert halls, restaurants, bars and night clubs shut down for months, millions of people have turned to internet-based entertainment. Video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services have seen their audiences increase since the beginning of the year. Based on a subscription model – such as Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ – or on an advertising-funded model – such as YouTube – their popularity has been soaring. COVID 19 has had a similar effect on gaming and esport.

A booming industry

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), “the global videogame industry is thriving, despite the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus. With the practice of social distancing reducing consumer and business activity to a minimum, gaming offers an engaging distraction for people at home looking for social interaction, and initial data shows huge growth in playing time and sales since the lockdown began.” The WEF forecast the global video game market to be worth USD 159 billion in 2020, about 48% of which comes from mobile gaming.

Esports, are a separate part of gaming which deals with organized, multiplayer video game competitions. It is forecast to grow to over USD one billion in 2020 and is expected to contribute increasingly to gaming revenues in the coming years.

Going mobile

The mobile technology boom has revolutionized the industry and introduced gaming to new generations of gamers. Even baby boomers today know what Angry Birds is! Whether on a console, a tablet, a smartphone or a desktop, video games are now part of our entertainment routines.

All video games (simple and complex) rely on extremely sophisticated technology, including a growing use of virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) in high-end video gaming.

State-of-the-art components

The digital world, including video gaming, relies heavily on various types of electronic components, which enable the smooth functioning of any kind of smart devices.

Active components rely on a source of energy (DC) and inject power into a circuit. In recent years, technological advances have greatly enhanced their use in an ever-growing number of applications. They include, among others, semiconductor and display devices. Semiconductors comprise diodes, transistors, integrated circuits and optoelectronic components.

Passive components are electrical components that do not generate power, but instead dissipate, store, and/or release it. Among them are capacitors, resistors and inductors. In most circuits, they are connected to active elements, typically semiconductor devices.

Electromechanical components, such as connectors, relays, fuses, switches, microphones, or wires and cables, use an electrical current to create a magnetic field which causes a physical movement.

A world of sensors

One type of electronic component plays a major role today: sensors. These can be active or passive. Active sensors require an external source of power to operate while passive sensors simply detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment. They come in many forms: vision, flow, fibre optic, gas, motion, image, colour, light, pressure, infrared, photoelectric and so on.

Sensors and sensor systems are a key underpinning technology for a wide range of applications. They enhance health, safety and security in the home and workplace through their use in air-conditioning systems, fire and smoke detection and surveillance equipment. They play a major role in medical devices, transportation, entertainment equipment and everyday consumer products.

Safety first

Electronic components may come in many shapes and sizes but they have commonalities. They need to be accurate, reliable and high quality. Defective components can have serious consequences for humans and their environment. They also have to meet the requirements of national or regional regulations concerning hazardous substances.

IECQ certification: a global solution

Manufacturers and suppliers of all types of electronic components throughout the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ testing and certification. IECQ is the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components.

As the worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards.

In addition, a multitude of related materials and processes are covered by the IECQ schemes. IECQ certificates are used worldwide as a tool to monitor and control the manufacturing supply chain. They help to reduce costs and time to market and eliminate the need for multiple re-assessments of suppliers.

IECQ provides manufacturers with independent verification that IEC International Standards and other specifications were met by suppliers who hold an IECQ certification.

IECQ contribution to a safer and more reliable world can only increase with the development of new technologies and state-of-the-art electronic devices.

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