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14 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 What Is Driving This Crisis? It has come down to a simple principle of economics supply and demand. While the supply has gone way down, the demand for many components has exploded. The compo- nent manufacturers have not kept pace with the demand for several reasons. There are three main sectors of the electronic industry driving these component shortages. 1. Internet of Things (IoT) Demand for smart devices has exploded, ranging from TVs to Bluetooth speaker systems; home devices from Amazon, Google, Apple, and others; renewable energy products; solar panels; and cloud computing. It seems like we now have a "smart" everything! On the more humorous side, what happens when IoT goes bad? For example, if you go to the refrigerator to add a dozen donuts to your shopping list, and the fridge has been connected to and talking with the scale, does it decide to place you on a diet instead? According to Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion new IoT devices deployed by 2020, which will be a 100% growth rate in the number of these devices in the next couple of years. That's a lot of hardware to be placed into the market. It is estimated that there will not be an industry or area of our lives that will not be touched by IoT in some way. 2. Mobile Phone Industry Personal phone usage has seen a huge increase; it was recently reported to have doubled since 2015. If you want evidence of this, go to your local mall, sit in the food court, and watch people—everyone is completely engrossed in their mobile device. It is esti- mated that approximately 1.5 billion smart- phones will be manufactured in the upcoming year, and each flagship model contains roughly 1,000 capacitors. The current estimate is that there is a worldwide production capacity of 3 trillion MLCC capacitors. By those numbers, nearly 50% of the MLCC capacitors produced are already designated and used strictly in the mobile cellphone sector. 3. Automotive The hybrid and full electric vehicle industry currently has double-digit growth. However, technical advancements have spilled over into traditional gasoline vehicles with the addi- tion of new technologies in automated driv- ing systems (ADS) including all the new auto- mated gadgets such as parking sensors, auto windscreen wipers, etc. A standard combustion engine car requires somewhere between 2,000–3,000 capacitors. An electric vehicle has up to 22,000 capaci- tors required in a single car. Furthermore, the higher temperatures inside the control circuits Figure 2: Global hybrid car sales. (Source:

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