Electronics industry

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.

Workers in an electronics factory in Shenzhen, China

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 is the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), invented in 1959, which is the "workhorse" of the electronics industry.

HistoryEdit

The electric power industry began in the 19th century, which led to the development of inventions such as gramaphones, radio transmitters, receivers and television. The vacuum tube was used for early electronic devices, before later being largely supplanted by semiconductor components as the fundamental technology of the industry.[4]

The first working transistor, a point-contact transistor, was invented by John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain at Bell Laboratories in 1947, which led to significant research in the field of solid-state semiconductors during the 1950s.[5] This led to the emergence of the home entertainment consumer electronics industry starting in the 1950s, largely due to the efforts of Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (now Sony) in successfully commercializing transistor technology for a mass market, with affordable transistor radios and then transistorized television sets.[6]

The most widely manufactured electronic device is the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), invented by Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Laboratories in 1959. It is the "workhorse" of the electronics industry, with MOSFET scaling and miniaturization being the primary reason for the rapid exponential growth of electronic semiconductor technology since the 1960s.[7] The MOSFET, which accounts for 99.9% of all transistors, is the most widely manufactured device in history,[8] with an estimated total of 13 sextillion (1.3 × 1022) MOSFETs having been manufactured between 1960 and 2018.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] Global annual consumer electronic sales are expected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2020.[11]

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.[12] China also remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries.[12] 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.[13]

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 (high tech) $4,800,000,000,000 2018 [14]
Mobile technology $3,900,000,000,000 2018 [15]
B2C e-commerce (business-to-consumer) $3,851,000,000,000 2017 [3]
Consumer electronics $1,712,900,000,000 2016 [11]
Semiconductor industry $481,000,000,000 2018 [2]
Television broadcasting services $407,700,000,000 2017 [16]
Power electronics $218,000,000,000 2011 [17]
TFT liquid-crystal displays (TFT LCD) $141,000,000,000 2017 [18]
Video games $137,900,000,000 2018 [19]
Home video film industry $55,700,000,000 2018 [20]
Music streaming and music downloads $11,200,000,000 2018 [a]

List of best-selling electronic devicesEdit

List of electronic devices by number of shipments (at least 1 billion manufactured units)
Electronic device Shipments
(est. billion units)
Production years included Ref Product type
MOSFET (MOS field-effect transistor) 13,000,000,000,000 1964–2018 [8] Semiconductor
Floating-gate MOSFET (flash memory cell) 2,321,000,000,000 1992–1997, 2000–2018 [b]
MOS capacitor (DRAM memory cell) 228,000,000,000 1965–2007, 2009–2013, 2018 [c]
Discrete semiconductor device 5,041 1954–1957, 1966–1971, 2002–2018 [d]
Integrated circuit (IC) chip 4,044 1960–1997, 2000, 2002–2013, 2015–2018
Optoelectronic device 1,112 2002–2013, 2016
Discrete transistor 798 1954–1957, 1966–1971, 2011, 2013–2018
Analog integrated circuit chip 635 2002–2013, 2016
Discrete diode 593 2011, 2013–2015 [25]
Application-specific standard product (ASSP) 541 2002–2013 [d]
Power transistor 363 2011, 2013–2018 [e]
MOS memory chip 357 1992–1997, 2002–2013, 2016 [d]
Logic device 250 2002–2013, 2016
Microprocessor (MPU) / Microcontroller (MCU) 205 1971–1996, 2002–2014, 2016
Compact disc (CD) 200 1982–2007 [28] Consumer
Flash memory chip 197 1987–2018 [b] Semiconductor
Thyristor 189 2013–2015 [29]
System-on-a-chip (SoC) 131 1976–2017 [f]
Sensor / Actuator 87.7 2002–2013, 2016 [d]
Display driver chip 53.3 2003–2009, 2017–2018 [g]
Light-emitting diode (LED) 50 2009 [36]
Smart card (integrated circuit card) 50 1977–2019 [37] Consumer
CMOS image sensor 34.5 2007–2018 [h] Semiconductor
SIM card (universal integrated circuit card) 34.1 1991–2018 [i] Consumer
Flat-panel display (FPD) 30.2 1999–2009, 2017–2018 [j] Consumer
Audio cassette tape 30 1963–2019 [52]
Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) 25.6 2002–2013 [d] Semiconductor
Payment card 22.1 1967–2018 [53] Consumer
Digital versatile disc (DVD) 20 1996–2012 [54]
Mobile phone 19.4 1994–2018 [l]
Smartphone 10.1 2007–2018 [k]
Video cassette 10 1976–2000 [58][59]
Hard disk drive (HDD) 9.15 1976–2018 [60]
EMV (Chip & PIN) smart payment card 8.2 1995–2019 [37]
Transistor radio 7 1954–2012 [61]
Personal computer (PC) 6.93 1975–2019 [m]
NAND flash memory controller chip 5 2007–2017 [62] Semiconductor
RF CMOS (radio-frequency CMOS) switch 5 2000–2017 [63]
Flip chip 4.81 1997–2001 [64]
Audio codec sound chip 3.78 2013 [65]
Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.7 2011 [31]
Video game cartridge 3.4 1983–2013 [n] Consumer
Smart payment card 3.04 2018 [37]
Television set (TV set) 3 1936–2019 [o]
Synchronous SRAM memory chip 2.7 1995–2015 [71] Semiconductor
Graphics processing unit (GPU) 2 1996–2014 [p] Consumer
Short-range wireless IC chip 1.67 2009 [74] Semiconductor
Video game console 1.58 1976–2019 [q] Consumer
Laptop computer 1.45 2010–2017 [m]
DVD player 1.3 1996–2007 [75]
Vacuum tube 1.3 1966–1970 [76] Vacuum
Landline telephone 1.26 1950–2005 [77] Consumer
Tablet computer 1.24 2010–2017 [m]
USB controller 1.2 1997–2011 [31]
Desktop computer 1.14 2010–2017 [m]
Home video game console 1.03 1976–2019 [q]
CD player 1 1982–2004 [78]
Video cassette recorder (VCR) 1 1976–2006 [79]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Digital music$11.2 billion[21]
  2. ^ a b See Flash memory § Shipments.
  3. ^ MOS capacitor (dynamic RAM memory cell consists of MOSFET and MOS capacitor)
    • 1965–2007 – 1 exabyte (est.)[22] – 8 quintillion cells
    • 2009–2013 – 113.6 billion gigabits[23] – 113.6 quintillion cells
    • 2018 – 106.34 billion gigabits[24] – 106.34 quintillion cells
  4. ^ a b c d e See Semiconductor industry § Shipments.
  5. ^ Power transistor:
    • 2011, 2013–2014 – 137 billion[25]
    • 2015 – 52 billion[26]
    • 2016–2018 – 174.3 billion[27]
  6. ^ System-on-a-chip (SoC)
  7. ^ Display driver chip:
    • LCD display driver (2003–2005) – 9,821,200,000[32]
    • 2006 – 5.5 billion[33]
    • 2007 – 6.9 billion[33]
    • 2008 – 6.9 billion+ (est.)
    • 2009 – 8.2 billion[34]
    • 2017–2018 – 16 billion[35]
  8. ^ CMOS image sensor:
    • 2007–2017 – 29 million (est.)[38]
    • 2018 – 5.5 billion[39]
  9. ^ SIM card (universal integrated circuit card)
    • 1991–2013 – 7 billion[40]
    • 2014 – 5.2 billion[41]
    • 2015 – 5.4 billion[42]
    • 2016 – 5.4 billion[43]
    • 2017–2018 – 11.07 billion[44]
  10. ^ Flat-panel display (FPD)
    • 1999 – 2.3 billion[45]
    • 2000–2004 – 11.5 billion (est.)
    • 2005 – 3.177 billion[46]
    • 2006 – 3.5 billion[47]
    • Mobile phone (2007) – 1.15 billion[48]
    • Mobile display (2008) – 1.6 billion[49]
    • Mobile display (2009) – 1.3 billion[50]
    • Small-medium display (2017–2018) – 5,681.2 million[51]
  11. ^ a b Smartphone:
    • 2007–2010 – 731 million[56]
    • 2011–2013 – 2.122 billion[56]
    • 2014–2015 – 2.69 billion[57]
    • 2016–2018 – 4.589 billion[56]
  12. ^ Mobile phone:
  13. ^ a b c d See Market share of personal computer vendors § Unit sales.
  14. ^ Video game cartridge:
  15. ^ Television set (TV set)
  16. ^ Graphics processing unit (GPU)
  17. ^ a b See List of best-selling game consoles § Total console sales by firm (est.)

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External linksEdit