The impact of commoditization in the electronics industry

Take the lid off any consumer tech today, and you’ll probably see mostly modules and functionally dense ICs occupying most of the board space. There will be passive components too, but probably not as many compared to doing the same exercise five or so years ago when you’d see hundreds of them. Even so, today, most of the individual capacitors, inductors, and resistors are fabricated as arrays of multiple passives or packaged on the die of semiconductor ICs. The same can be said about semiconductors, with a single highly integrated IC comprising microcontroller, wireless transceiver, power management, security, and network interface functions.

In this report, we investigate how component manufacturers are focusing on driving higher levels of functional integration with designs now using minimal levels of discrete components. We will be looking at the long-term impact of this on the electronics industry.