S3 Semiconductors was at the Sensors and Test show held at the Messe Nuremberg, in May. As such we have included here some interesting observations about the show which typically runs on an annual cadence.
Sensor Geography & Demography
Physically the trade-fair floor was separated into 2 main categories:
- raw sensor products and the physical technologies that support these
- sensor modules & test systems
The show ran over three days, with day one and two the busiest. Demographically, attendees and exhibitors were predominantly German, Swiss and Austrian. Granted there were some new Asian entrants, however the show is still very much a very local niche DACH event, which is reflective of the sensor market at any rate.
Where was the NB-IoT brigade?
Interestingly enough, there was surprisingly small references to wireless sensor nodes, be that proprietary WSN networks, SigFox, LoRa, NB-IoT or the incumbent Zigbees. Aside from a few smaller cloud focused companies, the focus of this show was very much on the front end sensor itself. In fact from a marketing collateral perspective there was no reference to IoT. This was a show focused purely on solving real problems, today.
Considering the lineage and geographies of the companies that exhibited, it is not surprising to have seen quite a bit of reference to ADAS. However it was very much the raw front-end component that featured. Incidentally one company kitted out a vintage Mercedes with numerous sensors, yielding a very novel exhibit.
Where were the Semiconductor companies?
Aside from reasonably modest stands from Infineon and Linear Tech, there were no other tier one analog semiconductor vendors present. In fact none of the tier-one distributors were there either.
Analog & Digital Sensors
The types of sensor solutions on exhibit range primarily from raw analog output sensors to sensors with basic digital IO (such as I2C). For the later, some incorporated in self-calibration routines to compensate for temperature and process variation. This was presented as a key differentiator by the sensor companies, as their end customer did not have to worry about developing calibration routines themselves. However since the volumes that typical sensor applications would see are modest (10K – 100Ku per year) the incorporation of an interface chip that would add significant differentiation such as auto-calibration and diverse interfaces are not supported by the present semiconductor industry.
Economic Customisation & Supply
At S3Semi we support those mid-to-low volume applications by providing access to full custom embedded mixed-signal sensor interface chips. We design, manufacture and supply fully calibrated sensor interfaces using industry leading low power design techniques and IP, on tier-one foundry process nodes that are cheap.
Want to know more on how to differentiate that sensor solution? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org