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Workers in an electronics factory in Shenzhen, China

The electronics industry emerged in the 20th century and is today one of the largest global industries. Contemporary society uses a vast array of electronic devices built in automated or semi-automated factories operated by the industry. Products are primarily assembled from metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistors and integrated circuits, the latter principally by photolithography and often on printed circuit boards.

The size of the industry and the use of toxic materials, as well as the difficulty of recycling has led to a series of problems with electronic waste. International regulation and environmental legislation has been developed in an attempt to address the issues.

The electronics industry consists of various sectors. The central driving force behind the entire electronics industry is the semiconductor industry sector,[1] which has annual sales of over $481 billion as of 2018.[2] The largest industry sector is e-commerce, which generated over $29 trillion in 2017.[3]

The most widely manufactured electronic device, the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), invented in 1959, has become the "workhorse" of the electronics industry.

HistoryEdit

The electric power industry began in the 19th century, which led to the development of many inventions, from gramaphones to radio transmitters, receivers, televisions, and digital computers. In the 1970s and 1980s, the vacuum tube, was largely supplanted by semiconductor components as the fundamental technology of the industry.[4]

The industry employs large numbers of electronics engineers and electronics technicians to design, develop, test, manufacture, install, and repair electrical and electronic equipment such as communication equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and computers. Common parts manufactured are connectors, system components, cell systems, computer accessories, and these are made of alloy steel, copper, brass, stainless steel, plastic, steel tubing and other materials.[5]

The most widely manufactured electronic device is the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), invented in 1959. It is the "workhorse" of the electronics industry, with MOSFET scaling and miniaturization being the primary reason of the rapid exponential growth of electronic semiconductor technology since the 1960s.[6] The MOSFET, which accounts for 99.9% of all transistors, is the most widely manufactured device in history,[7] with an estimated total of 13 sextillion (1.3 × 1022) MOSFETs having been manufactured between 1960 and 2018.[7]

Consumer electronicsEdit

Consumer electronics are products intended for everyday use, most often in entertainment, communications and office productivity. Radio broadcasting in the early 20th century brought the first major consumer product, the broadcast receiver. Later products include personal computers, telephones, MP3 players, audio equipment, televisions, calculators, GPS automotive electronics, digital cameras and players and recorders using video media such as DVDs, VCRs or camcorders. Increasingly these products have become based on digital technologies, and have largely merged with the computer industry in what is increasingly referred to as the consumerization of information technology.

The CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) projected the value of annual consumer electronics sales in the United States to be over $170 billion in 2008.[8] Global annual consumer electronic sales are expected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2020.[9]

Effects on the environmentEdit

Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials and up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics.

The United States and China are the world leaders in producing electronic waste, each tossing away about 3 million tons each year.[10] China also remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries.[10] The UNEP estimate that the amount of e-waste being produced - including mobile phones and computers - could rise by as much as 500 percent over the next decade in some developing countries, such as India.[11]

Increasing environmental awareness has led to changes in electronics design to reduce or eliminate toxic materials and to reduce energy consumption. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) were released by the European Commission in 2002.

Largest electronics industry sectorsEdit

Industry sector Annual revenue Year Ref
B2B e-commerce (business-to-business) $25,516,000,000,000 2017 [3]
Tech industry $4,800,000,000,000 2018 [12]
Mobile technology $3,900,000,000,000 2018 [13]
B2C e-commerce (business-to-consumer) $3,851,000,000,000 2017 [3]
Consumer electronics $1,712,900,000,000 2016 [9]
Semiconductor industry $481,000,000,000 2018 [2]
Television broadcasting services $407,700,000,000 2017 [14]
Power electronics $218,000,000,000 2011 [15]
TFT liquid-crystal displays (TFT LCD) $141,000,000,000 2017 [16]
Video games $137,900,000,000 2018 [17]
Home video (film industry) $55,700,000,000 2018 [18]
Music streaming and music downloads $11,200,000,000 2018 [a]

List of best-selling electronic devicesEdit

List of best-selling electronic devices by number of shipments (manufactured units)
Electronic device Manufactured units (est.) Years Ref
MOSFET (MOS transistor) 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1960–2018 [7]
Floating-gate MOSFET (flash memory) 1,349,000,000,000,000,000,000 1988–2002, 2006–2007, 2012–2018 [b]
MOS capacitor (DRAM memory cell) 228,000,000,000,000,000,000 1965–2007, 2009–2013, 2018 [c]
Integrated circuit (IC) chip 3,600,000,000,000 1960–2018 [d]
Discrete transistor 792,300,000,000 2011, 2013–2018 [e]
Diode 593,000,000,000 2011, 2013–2015 [40]
Compact disc (CD) 200,000,000,000 1982–2007 [43]
Thyristor 189,000,000,000 2013–2015 [44]
Microprocessor / Microcontroller 180,600,000,000 1975–2019 [f]
Display driver chip 53,321,200,000 2003–2009, 2017–2018 [g]
CMOS image sensor 34,500,000,000 2007–2018 [h]
Flash memory chip 33,833,000,000 1992–1997, 2002, 2008–2012, 2015 [i]
Flat-panel display (FPD) 30,208,200,000 1999–2009, 2017–2018 [j]
MEMS sensor chip 23,200,000,000 2014–2015 [72]
Digital versatile disc (DVD) 20,000,000,000 1996–2012 [73]
Mobile phone 19,379,240,000 1994–2018 [k]
Smart card (integrated circuit card) 11,043,000,000 2001–2008 [76]
Smartphone 10,109,880,000 2007–2018 [75]
Video cassette 10,000,000,000 1976–2000 [77][78]
Transistor radio 7,000,000,000 1954–2012 [79]
Personal computer 6,783,000,000 1973–2019 [l]
NAND flash memory controller chip 5,000,000,000 2007–2017 [84]
Flip chip 4,807,700,000 1997–2001 [85]
Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3,700,000,000 2011 [50]
Television set 3,000,000,000 1936–2019 [m]
Video game cartridge 2,911,000,000 1983–2013 [88]
Synchronous SRAM memory chip 2,700,000,000 1995–2015 [89]
Graphics processing unit (GPU) 2,000,000,000 1996–2014 [n]
Video game console 1,576,000,000 1976–2019 [o]
DVD player 1,300,000,000 1996–2007 [92]
Landline telephone 1,263,367,600 1950–2005 [93]
USB controller 1,200,000,000 1997–2011 [50]
Home video game console 1,028,000,000 1976–2019 [o]
CD player 1,000,000,000 1982–2004 [94]
Video cassette recorder (VCR) 1,000,000,000 1976–2006 [95]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Digital music$11.2 billion[19]
  2. ^ Floating-gate MOSFET memory cell (flash memory)
  3. ^ MOS capacitor (dynamic RAM memory cell consists of MOSFET and MOS capacitor)
    • 1965–2007 – 1 EB (est.)[22] – 8 quintillion cells
    • 2009–2013 – 113.6 trillion Gb[31] – 113.6 quintillion cells
    • 2018 – 106.34 billion Gb[32] – 106.34 quintillion cells
  4. ^ Integrated circuit (IC) chip – 3.6 trillion+ (est.)
    • 1960–1996 – 350 billion[33]
    • 1997 – 60.1 billion[34]
    • 1998–2005 – 480.8 billion+ (est.)[34]
    • 2006 – 141.6 billion[35]
    • 2007 – 156 billion[34]
    • 2008–2014 – 1.092 trillion+ (est.)[34]
    • 2015 – 235.6 billion[36]
    • 2016 – 243.264 billion[37]
    • 2017 – 377 billion (China)[38]
    • 2018 – 417.57 billion (China)[39]
  5. ^ Discrete transistor:
  6. ^ Microprocessor / Microcontroller
  7. ^ Display driver chip:
    • LCD display driver (2003–2005) – 9,821,200,000[52]
    • 2006 – 5.5 billion[53]
    • 2007 – 6.9 billion[53]
    • 2008 – 6.9 billion+ (est.)
    • 2009 – 8.2 billion[54]
    • 2017–2018 – 16 billion[55]
  8. ^ CMOS image sensor:
    • 2007–2017 – 29 million (est.)[56]
    • 2018 – 5.5 billion[57]
  9. ^ Flash memory chip:
    • 1992–1996 – 805 million[58]
    • January–June 1997 – 258 million[59]
    • 2002 – 1.49 billion[60]
    • NAND (2008) – 1.23 billion[21]
    • NAND (2009) – 1.23 billion+ (est.)
    • NOR (2010) – 3.64 billion[61]
    • NAND (2010) – 3.64 billion+ (est.)
    • NAND (2011) – 8.7 billion[62]
    • Serial (2012) – 5.15 billion[63]
    • NAND (2015) – 7.69 billion[64]
  10. ^ Flat-panel display (FPD)
    • 1999 – 2.3 billion[65]
    • 2000–2004 – 11.5 billion (est.)
    • 2005 – 3.177 billion[66]
    • 2006 – 3.5 billion[67]
    • Mobile phone (2007) – 1.15 billion[68]
    • Mobile display (2008) – 1.6 billion[69]
    • Mobile display (2009) – 1.3 billion[70]
    • Small-medium display (2017–2018) – 5,681.2 million[71]
  11. ^ Mobile phone:
  12. ^ Personal computer:
    • 1973–2007 – 2 billion[80]
    • 2008–2009 – 596,670,200[81]
    • 2010–2017 – 3,727,230,000 (desktop, laptop, tablet)[82]
    • 2018 – 259.4 million[83]
    • January–October 2019 – 199.4 million[80]
  13. ^ Television set:
    • 1936–1996 – 1 billion[86]
    • MediaTek television (1997–2019) – 2 billion[87]
  14. ^ Graphics processing unit (GPU)
  15. ^ a b See List of best-selling game consoles § Total console sales by firm (est.)

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See alsoEdit