Chipmaker sees web, power as key technology drivers

When CEOs and top executives of semiconductor speak publicly, they take a high level view of where they plan to focus their effort to advance state of the art. Freescale has a big role in embedded systems, which are collectively a huge percentage of the electronics shipped each year.

To open the Freescale Technology Forum this week, top executives focused a lot on the so-called Internet of Things, which encompasses  the growing number of devices that connect to the Web without direct control by a human.

There will be 50 billion of these devices online by 2020. There were only 2 billion in 2010, so growth will be roughly 25-fold in a decade, one Freescale executive said. That’s certain to attract a lot of attention from product development engineers at Freescale and other chipmakers.

That focus will be matched by an emphasis on reducing power consumption. Many of those devices will be powered by batteries, so reducing power consumption is obviously critical. Power usage will also be important in the data centers that serve these products.

Data centers already consume two percent of the world’s energy. If they follow the 25-fold growth curve of connected devices, that percentage will soar. The cost of powering these servers, and the cost of cooling the data centers, can be sharply reduced if the semiconductors in those servers consume less power.

Freescale executives made it clear that connectivity and power consumption are two key areas they’ll focus on over the next couple years. They’re far from the only trends being addressed, but they’re certainly high on the scale.

One Comment

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