ECN asked around during EDS 2014, putting our pulse on the industry, and gleaning valuable information from our panel of experts.

What key growth areas do you see in the next 12 months? How can distributors help you take advantage of them?

Brian Krause, VP of Marketing and Communications, Molex Incorporated

Global economic development, rising Internet traffic, and the ubiquitous popularity of mobile devices are among key societal trends driving design innovation and industry growth. As consumers, we want smaller, more powerful devices with near limitless functionality.

Data consumption continues surging, pushing demand for faster download speeds and storage capacity. Proven technologies developed for consumer electronics, infotech, and telecommunications are converging into other industries, forging new market opportunities. Device functionality and content are burgeoning in automotive infotainment and safety systems, medical devices and factory robotics and automation for industrial applications. 
Likewise, demand is on the rise for data storage capacity and high speed retrieval. Globally, we are seeing many existing infrastructures (telecommunications, wireless networks) taxed by unprecedented growth in mobile communications, and in need of equipment upgrades and capacity additions.

Ron Demcko, AVX Fellow

For AVX, the top three growth sectors for the next year are energy efficiency, RF, and EMI control. Enhanced control and improved modeling of component parasitics is increasingly essential in the energy efficiency sector, especially in applications including LED lighting, high efficiency power conversion, energy harvesting, and distributed power.

With regard to RF, optical markets and broadband RF systems are employing more ultra broadband passive components in their designs; antenna matching and RF filter applications are specifying components with increasingly tighter tolerances; and couplers, diplexers, and filters are experiencing market-wide demand growth due to the cost reductions they can provide for the overall system.

As for EMI control, low inductance components ranging from ceramic and tantalum capacitors to power films have all but become a requirement in the design community, which provides us with a number of significant growth opportunities.

Distributors play a vital role in promoting these and other advanced passive solutions, as well as help customers realize their final designs using their advanced applied reference design functions. The FAE support team at distributors now has more value-added engineering input in customer’s designs than ever before. In fact, in some instances, the distribution support team has literally designed whole subsystems for customers.

What key growth areas do you see for your company in the next 12 months?

Scott Schwalbe, CEO, NimbeLink

One key growth area for SkyWire is replacement of all the key units on the AT&T network. Thousands of units per day need to be replaced in the next few years. A lot of them don’t need the data of an LTE product. Another area of growth is the customers that are driving more data. That’s where LTE comes in.

How concerned are you about counterfeit parts in the supply chain and how can distributors help buyers gain confidence in their purchases?

Michelle Gjerde, Corporate Communications Director, Digi-Key

We’re very concerned about the increase in counterfeit parts. We hold strong to the fact that we only work with suppliers of high-quality parts – verified, authorized components. We also work with ECI to put criteria in place to establish global guidelines for genuine parts to reduce the likelihood of counterfeit parts from entering the supply chain.