Microelectronics a subsection of electronics deals with the manufacture or microfabrication of very small electrical components.

They are made from semiconductor materials and include in their designs most of the components found in normal electrical designs.

These components include transistors, resistors, diodes, conductors, inductors and a lot more.

The goal of the microelectronic engineer is to find ways of minimizing wear and tear while delivering much smaller, faster and cheaper devices to the consumers.

Applications Of Microelectronics

Microeletronics

Microelectronics in unionism with Nano-scale technology has found applications in various sectors of human endeavour. The most notable include:

  • Computers and consumer electronics
  • Computer-aided designs for industrial applications (CAD)
  • Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and robotics
  • Microprocessor control systems like the numerically controlled machine tools (NCMTs) for engineering.

Progress And Development Of Microelectronics In Nano-Scale

Innovation nowadays seems to be centered around information and communication systems, first of them all is microelectronics

New progress and rapid development of science have shown great potential for a number of applications and commercialization opportunities. This has enabled the proper development of tools to analyze matter, mechanical movement and structures on a small scale with atomic resolutions.

Some of the new tools deployed to look into components on a smaller scale involve designing, modeling, engineering, computer simulations, characterization and manufacturing at an appropriately small scale. Scientists are now able to re-invent the wheel and develop new technologies just by realizing advanced materials via the assembly and manipulation of atoms and molecules in the Nano-scale.

Innovation nowadays seems to be centered around information and communication systems, first of them all is microelectronics. There is no disputing the fact that electronics has been a key driver of the scientific and technological processes that has made major contributions to the social and economic growth of mankind since the mid-20th century.

Major areas microelectronics have played important roles in humanity include but not limited to:

  • Mobile phones and telecommunication systems
  • Multimedia applications and digital media systems
  • Computing and networking (the internet as a whole)
  • Cleaner production processes for factories
  • Safer vehicles and better performing medical systems

In fact, the input of microelectronics to the development and civilization of the human race cannot be overemphasized.

Harnessing The Benefits Of Microelectronics And Nanotechnology

There are presently lots of efforts in place to harness the benefits of nanotechnology.

There are presently lots of efforts in place to harness the benefits of nanotechnology. Both nanotechnology and microelectronics have opened up areas of new research and development, something that would have been unthinkable to achieve many years ago. We are in an era of light speed development and research; yesterday’s breakthrough might become obsolete tomorrow.

However, a lot still needs to be done to transform the outcome of the numerous research on microelectronics and nanotechnology into meaningful job opportunities, economic growth, and a better quality of life.

Still, commercialization of microelectronics and MEMS devices are still hindered, largely because of the complexity of dealing with such materials at such a small scale. Developing micro applications to replace or reinvent those existing is a possibility but they are quite expensive.  A simple look at the cost of developing solar panel cells for electricity generation will give you an idea of how expensive this process is.

Having analyzed the economic importance of microelectronics and nanotechnology, there seems to be a well-defined path for future growth on a larger scale. There is a larger pie to be shared in the future, but in all sincerity, it shouldn’t be for financial gain only.  A global system of approach needs to be utilized rather than an individualistic or state system. Tackling matters this way would ensure that synergies between players are harnessed for knowledge and development.

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While microelectronics continues to pave the wave for nanotechnology, corporate organizations and financial institutions should embark on meaningful technologies with economic value rather than creating technology for technology’s sake.

Care must also be taken into consideration to communicate and promote to the public the usefulness and benefits of a nanotechnology-based approach, otherwise we risk stalling the progress of the miniaturization field.

Among the major development in screen display technology is the liquid crystal display (LCD). On a global scale, more than 220 million LCD Televisions are sold every year. For the high demand in the market for quality and high-resolution pictures, manufacturers are the more innovative and continue to evolve new technologies to meet customers’ needs.

High definition LCDs and digital display are in high demand by consumers.

Global Shipment Of LCD TV

The global shipments of LCD display products continue to rise year after year. In 2015 the shipment of LCD TVs reached a record high of about 224 million sets. As of 2016 ending, Samsung, a major player in the industry leads in the highest number of the shipment. They are followed by LG and TCL from China. For the 4th quart of 2016, Samsung saw a shipment of about 15.2 million LCD TVs while LG has about 7 million shipments for the quarter.

Global LCD Core Chip And Innovativeness

Integration of core chip is to enhance the functionality of LCD TVs. With the demand for improved display, manufacturers’ innovativeness is seen by adopting various technologies for a better product.

Installation of core chip processors is an advancement in technology that integrates the computing functionality into a TV set.

This is in a bid to meet the market’s demand for smart products including TVs. This technological improvement creates both an LCD TV and a computer under a single unit.

Benefits Of The Core Integration

 There are great benefits that come with the infusion of core chip on LCD TVs. It gives the users the flexibility to use their TV set like a computer. You can access apps, stream videos, visit online stores, download content and also sync your other devices with the LCD TV.

This outstanding feature addition to the LCD TV has attracted lots of customers in its direction thereby resulting in the growth of the market.

Regional Demand

The LCD core chip industry has a growing competition among players like Sony, Philips, LG Electronics, Samsung Group, Panasonic and a host of others. There is the strong presence of manufacturers from the Asian region particularly from China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. This makes the availability and affordable of the product a reality and ensuring a market growth in the region.

The US and Canada from North America have also seen an increase in the demand for smart LCD TVs.

Display technology such as LCD and other emerging ones came as a result of consistent research and experiments spanning several years to come up with what we have today. To remain relevant and maintain the competitive status in the market, manufacturers and other stakeholders are always engaging various enhancement methods for a better product.

In this article, a look at some of the experiments and researches into the application of LCD will be examined.

Liquid crystals have been discovered over a century now.

New Twists And Bends In LCD Research

Liquid crystals have been discovered over a century now. The structure of liquid crystal is still a misery and scientists are working frantically to unravel the mystery behind this substance that has changed display technology over the years. The latest discovery is the twist-bends that makes up the structure of liquid crystals.

Liquid crystals are in a state between solid and liquid but the molecules are in crystal like form. When viewed under the microscope, many different configurations of the crystals can be seen which includes a twist-bend molecular structure. This discovery which came in 2013 has opened up more room for further research.

By using an X-ray technique built in the U.S.A Department of Energy (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), the research team discovered the first measurement to confirm a firmly twisted spiral molecule formation that can be what is required to reveal the mystery behind the liquid crystal and to further improve on LCD display technology performance like the speed of switching between on and off. 

In the experiment, five LCD monitors were used.

Suitability Of Modern LCDs For Vision Research

In the experiment, five LCD monitors were used. Their spatial and temporal luminance characteristics were measured to find out if they can be used in place of cathode ray tube monitors. In the spatial test, the authors measured how luminance is changed across spatial position, repeated measurements, spatial context and viewing angle.

In the temporal test, the authors looked at how reliable the monitors can bring about luminance changes across successive frames. The temporal and spatial measurements are the already existing limitations of conventional LCDs and CRT monitors. But from the experiment, it shows that a few high-end gaming monitors were able to meet the temporal requirements of vision research and currently available monitors can be used in place of CRTs in experiments in the laboratory.

Liquid crystal display has brought a display type that will for long remain important display style.The future is still bright for the technology as more and more revelations are discovered on the usefulness of the crystal.

LCD display technology got the better of plasma display technology in the days of their strong rivalry for dominance. While LCD display remains a force to reckon with in display technology, the competition in the market is getting stiffer by the day with new and improved display technologies coming on board.

It has thinner and higher display quality and less energy consumption potential.

Oled And Wearables Posing A Strong Challenge

It is now the turn of LCD to remain afloat in the screen display market with strong competition from new and emerging display technologies that are promising.

It is no longer news that in 2017, OLED display is a better display technology in some respect when compared to the capabilities of LCD display. It has thinner and higher display quality and less energy consumption potential. The likes of major LCD screen manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sharp are applying innovations to stay on in the market with an LCD display improvement.

To ask how much longer it will take for the reign of LCD is to ask if there is still a future left of LCD display technology. Obviously, there is much to still expect from LCD development. It’s not going to the archives just yet.

The group plans to manufacture Flexible LCD panels with their technology.

Japan Display Manufactures Flexible LCD Panels To Challenge OLED

For future iPhone’s use, Japan Display, a company comprising the likes of Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, the major supplier of screens for Apple phones has unveiled plans to fight it out with OLED panel production. The approach is to stick with LCD display but with improvement on the existing one. The group plans to manufacture Flexible LCD panels with their technology.

With a move to begin the mass production in 2018, the company is working to adopt plastic layers and not the traditional layer of glass. The panel is hoped to be as flexible and bendable as OLED and good enough for smartphone screen manufacture like those on Samsung’s Galaxy Edge collections.

This is strongly a positive for the future of LCD to still be here for long in display technology.

With the move on LCD Display technology, Apple is already looking in the direction of LCD panels with flexibility features.  According to the officials of Japan Display, smartphone manufacturers are set to adopt bendable LCD for their production for some years ahead. Japan Display is also hopeful of selling the product for use in car dashboards and computers.

Increasing Investment From The Chinese Market

With the Chinese government strongly backing the display technology growth in China, the economy of the Chinese is strongly closing up the gap that existed between them and the South Korean market in the manufacture of LCD screens. It is expected that the Chinese market will account for 27% of the global LCD screen production by 2020 from its current 16% production capacity.

Clearly, the future of LCD is still bright even with the emergence of new display technologies like OLED competing strongly. The strategy adopted by Japan display is the right approach to adopt to remain competitive in the LCD display market.

In recent times, LCD display technology has been used for classroom teaching. By connecting the LCD projector to a computer, a better view for students can be realized with LCD screen technology. Holding general meetings no longer requires a whiteboard and note taking by participants. With LCD screen touch technology made available by Sharp, a major manufacturer of the technology, you can have your company’s meetings and functions by utilizing the functionality of the LCD display technology in this 21st century.

There are lot other areas of use in our everyday life.

Here are some unconventional uses you may find in your neighborhood.

Fitness And Smart Band

In our very dynamic 21st century, the common trend today is the wearable and flexible technology that is always in the news. Smartband from sharp is a typical example of an improved technology in LCD.

The Smartband LCD uses only a negligible amount of energy, an amazing 1,000 times less energy consumption.

This kind of wearable is also common with the health sector for body organs and health monitoring purposes.

Embedding Into Contact Lens

The adoption of LCD technology in the optical field is one major impact in the 21 century in medicine. The LCD computer display is embedded in the device. This is a step in the right direction towards totally pixilated contact lenses.

The technology is expected to spread across from the medical to other related industries like cosmetics. With the development of flexible displays, curved LCD panels will make the implementation easier to achieve.  The currently applied LED lenses do not allow for full pixel display on the contact lens’ surface.

Gesture Recognition

Development in LCD screens allow for screen touch operation on computers without using a keyboard or a mouse. With interactive capability in computers, you can alter the status of objects by just making a move of the hands. This gives the LCD screen the ability to recognize what is right in front of it. With appropriate computer software installed, gesture recognition is a plus to make using your computer easier.

Planner Systems and Sharp are at the forefront of this technology.

 A Cooler With Inbuilt LCD

LCD display technology has application in some items we use for domestic convenience. A product named Liddup is a cooler that is designed with inbuilt LCD lights in it. The LCD light illuminates the content of the cooler for you to have a clearer view of the contents in it.

LCD Kiosk

LCD kiosk is another innovation and unconventional use of LCD in today’s modern world. The kiosk can serve as both a sales point and an advertisement channel for products.

Though it may be common in some regions, it still qualifies as a unique application of LCD display technology in the 21st century.

LCD display technology will continue to find its way into many applications that may ordinarily not be considered to be normal. With innovations, it is still a promising ground for LCD display technology to continue to gain prominence in various application areas.

The Nematic phase is one of the two major phases of liquid crystals, the other being Smetic phase. The Nematic phase is closer to a liquid substance than to a solid substance.

Twisted Nematic (TN) LCD describes a thin-film transistor LCD found in calculators, digital watches, smartphones and computer monitors.

The introduction of TN LCD technology in the 1970s was a breakthrough in display technology to help the commercialization of LCDs in electronic devices.

How It Works

TN display technology uses nematic liquid crystal placed in the midst of glass substrates dusted with ITO (indium-tin-oxide). The ITO is in turn coated with layers that rub in a direction.

Polarized light manipulation is the underlying principle in TN display technology. As light enters the TN cell, there is a twist in the polarization state with the liquid crystal director.

Advantages Of Twisted Nematic LCD Technology

The advantages in using TN panels made the TN LCD technology to be adopted for portable electronics in the 1990s.

  1. Not Expensive

TN liquid display crystal technology is easy to implement. This means inexpensive manufacturing requirements for industries and an affordable end product for consumers. This has made the use of TN LCD to serve as a good replacement for CRT and LED technologies. It is also a cheaper alternative to newer technologies like AMOLED and IPS.

  1. Power Consumption Efficiency

TN technology does not need any current requirement to function. It operates with low voltages. For this, it can be operated with batteries and other low power sources.

  1. Has A Good Refresh Rate And Response Time

The response time of a pixel is the time lapse required for a pixel to change from a state to another. The unit of measurement is milliseconds. The smaller, the better. The refresh rate, in contrast, is the frequency at which the image of a display is refreshed. It is measured in Hertz. The superior refresh rate and pixel response time give the Twisted Nematic LCD technology the capability to display faster images in a short period of time.

Disadvantages Of Twisted Nematic LCD Technology

The disadvantages of TN LCD technology can be the reason it is not being adopted for many modern applications.

1. Bad Viewing Angle

The viewing angle of TN LCD technology is low. A user has to look up from a 90-degree range for a maximum visual experience and good performance. In a lower angle range view, colors tend to be duller while images will be darker.

2. Bad Color Reproduction

Unlike LCD’s IPS and VA panels, using TN panels produces poor color reproduction. This negative aspect of TN LCD may have resulted from the restricted viewing angle. The bad color reproduction also translates to inaccuracy in color production from the TN panels. This makes TN LCD not suitable for image-oriented works such as a graphic design, video editing, and photo editing.

3. No Fixed Quality

Twisted Nematic LCD panels vary in quality from different producers. When a low-quality product is adopted, the other disadvantages will be more pronounced in the output of the implementation such as the color implementation and the viewing angle. Cheaper and poor quality TN panels can also bring out another demerit of susceptibility of dead pixels.

No doubt, TN LCD technology was a breakthrough for LCD development.

Its affordability and the change it brings into display technology are however being outshined by the incoming of superior display technologies such as IPS LCD, OLED and other latest development in display technology of today.

As smartphone screen size demand continues to favor larger designs, the display technology is equally another competition in the smartphone screen market. The rivalry between LCD screens and the new OLED screens is always in the news.

LCD display has always been with us and has offered great efficiency in the screen display technology.

 

The OLED Display And LCD Technology

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED) display technologies are two strong competitors in the smartphone screen market. While LCD technology creates its images via a backlight that sends light via many layers of filters, OLED displays do not require the backlight mechanism. It is a much simpler and thinner display. Pixels are used to emit the green, red and blue color filters required for an image. OLED is a newer technology with much flexibility, durability and presents some unique features. The image retention feature of the OLED is the downside to this new technology and why it is not suitable for TVs.

LCD has however added innovation to its design by incorporating the great features flexibility and simplicity which OLED boasts of in some of its new production plans by manufacturers such as Samsung and Japan Display.

LG In The Market

LG Display, Apple’s smartphone screen supplier, in 2015 announced they will be spending about $8.4 billion on future display technology including flexible displays, OLED, and high-end LCD screens.

The CEO of LG Display sees the Chinese companies catching up with South Korean dominated LCD market not too long from now.

By 2020, the hope is having a 27% of the total LCD manufacture, rising from its 16% production capacity as stated by LG Display.

Sharp Hoping To Turn Things Around

Sharp, a major manufacturer of LCD screens has not been active in the market after losses recorded in the previous years before 2017. With a rebranding upcoming, Sharp has declared to pull away from LCD TV screen production of Japan in 2018.

Sharp hopes to go with the latest trend to prelaunch itself back into the display technology market.

The Japan display’s Loss Due To Competition In The Smartphone Screen

Japan Display, a top LCD smartphone screen maker made up of top electronic giants like Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi recently announced a cut in their workforce by 30%. The obvious reason is the 31.5 billion yen loss incurred in the last business quarter of April to June 2017. The impact of the competition from top companies like Samsung, LG, and Sharp is no doubt something to take seriously in the screen manufacturing market.

OLED screen is the new baby in the smart screen market. Japan Display failed to enter this market early enough allowing the likes of Samsung and LG to dominate with major big contract signing with Apple.

The New Technology In OLED Display And The Market Prospects

OLED screen is thinner and lighter compared to other display technologies. You can bend and fold it, giving it that flexibility feature and it is more durable.

LG Display is focused on manufacturing large screen OLED screens for TVs and LCDs for smaller screens like in smartphones. Samsung leads in the manufacture of OLED screens while the likes of LG are playing the catch-up. Samsung is at the forefront of dominance in the use of OLED screen for smartphones. It started in this line with its Galaxy smartphones. It has gone a step further in adopting curved OLED screens in Galaxy Edge groups of smartphones.

LG Display plans to get into mass production of flexible display from 2018 with about $1.8 billion investment into the flexible display in the coming year. A large screen size of the 5.7-inch dimension is the focus.

The company hopes to have 3 million handsets/month production capacity of flexible screens.

Television sets use to be bulky, heavy and energy consuming before the advent of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology. LCD TVs are slim, lightweight and can be hung on walls. TVs are much like laptops now with flat screens.

This is made possible with the adoption of the LCD display technology that has long been used on our digital watches and calculators.

The Smectic phase is when the liquid crystals are cooled.

The Uniqueness Of Liquid Crystals

Liquid crystals are substances that fall between a solid and liquid material. It can be described to be an extension of the three states of matter because it is not any of those three. Just like states of matter, it can be in any of the two states it is commonly found with.

The Nematic phase is the state where it is more in the liquid state, where molecules move freely past each other along the same direction. The Smectic phase is when the liquid crystals are cooled. The molecules here form layers that are capable of sliding past each other.

LCD displays are implemented by utilizing the power of liquid crystals and polarized light.

The Working Principle Of LCD

LCD displays are implemented by utilizing the power of liquid crystals and polarized light. The images or pictures displayed on the LCD TV screen results from millions of pixels. Each pixel is a unique red, green or blue light that is switched OFF or ON to produce the picture that is seen in front of the screen.

In addition to plasma screen mode of operation, in LCD screens, the pixels get switched off or on electronically by using liquid crystals which rotates polarized light.

Applying electricity to Nematic liquid crystal straightens it out from its initial twisted-up form. This is the switching on and off process.

Polarised Light And Liquid Crystal And Composition Of The Technique

LCD screens work on a principle where the backlight is required for image display on the screen. At the back of the screen, there is a bright light which shines toward the viewer. At the front of this are the millions of pixels and sub-pixels colored blue, red and green. All pixels have polarizing glass filter at the back and another in front at 90-degrees. This makes the pixels to always appear dark.

In the midst of the two polarizing filters is the minute twisted nematic liquid crystal that untwists and twists (On and Off) through electronic means.

Each of the pixels is controlled separately by a transistor that is capable of switching it off or on several times per second.

Switching Off And On

When the nematic crystals are switched off, light passing through it is rotated at 90 degrees, giving way for light to flow pass the two polarizing filters. This makes the pixel brighter. On switching on the crystal, it does not rotate the light that is blocked by one of the two polarizers. Here the pixel appears dark.

Each of the pixels is controlled separately by a transistor that is capable of switching it off or on several times per second.

Switching On Procedure

  • The backlight of the screen shines
  • Apart from vibrating horizontal light waves, all other light waves are blocked by the horizontal polarizing filter in front of the shining light.
  • Only horizontally vibrating light waves get through.
  • The transistor switches on the pixel when electricity flow in the liquid crystal is switched off. This results in a twisted crystal. The resulting twisted crystal rotates by 90 degrees the light waves as they go past it.
  • The horizontally vibrating light waves that pass through the crystal come out vibrating horizontally.
  • All light waves are blocked by vertically polarizing filter except the ones vibrating vertically. The vibrating vertical light is now able to pass through vertical filters.
  • The pixel brightens up. The blue, red or green filters give the color of the pixel.

International Microelectronics Olympiad of Armenia is a worldwide knowledge-focused contest that brings together the brightest students in the world who are under the age of 30 and who are actively involved in microelectronics. College and university students tend to be the focus of the contest.

The contests test students in series of exams in written form and in stages to have the best students emerging in the process.

Peradventure two students have the same highest score; an hour test will be conducted to pick out the finalist from the country. All tests are in written form.

The Stages Of The Exams

There are two stages of the exams. The first stage is conducted in the participating country of the student. After which the best student from the country is selected by using the highest score in the exam. Peradventure two students have the same highest score; an hour test will be conducted to pick out the finalist from the country. All tests are in written form.

The final stage takes place in Armenia and the student with the highest score for each participating country will be sponsored to Armenia to take part in the final stage of the contest.

Participating Countries

 The number of participating countries is usually limited to 30 countries. The eligible countries most times have been Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Artsakh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, China, Georgia, Germany, India, Israel, Hong Kong, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Turkey, UAE, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam and USA.

Prize Categories

Though participants get a certificate of participation for taking part in the contest, prizes are awarded and the top prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize – Gold
  • 2nd prize – Silver
  • 3rd prize – Bronze

12th International Microelectronics Olympiad

This year, 2017, saw the 12th edition of the International Microelectronics Olympiad which was hosted by the Synopsys Armenia Education Department in Yerevan. The event which has 24 countries participating attracted 671 contestants from the countries. The Olympiad was organized in cooperation with IEEE (Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers) and TTTC (Test Technology Technical Council).

Topics Covered In The 2017 Edition

The scope of topics covered under the 2017 International Microelectronics Olympiad are digital Integrated circuit design and test, semiconductor technology and devices, automation, analog and mixed-signal design and IC design and test, and mathematics and algorithmic issues of electronic design automation (EDA).

The countries represented at this year’s event are Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Artsakh, China, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, Peru, Iran, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

As usual, the first stage of the written tests was done locally in participants’ countries and the exams test just fundamental aspect of the field. The second stage comprises more difficult engineering tasks that require complex solutions.

The final stage which was under the watchful eyes of the host countries prime minister had 20 countries represented by 41 contestants qualifying for the exams at this stage. These are Armenia, Artsakh, China, Egypt, Brazil, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Peru, Iran, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Some other major highlights were award of prizes to the winners of the Olympiad at a special ceremony at the Komitas Museum Institute.

These were the winners of the major prizes:

  • 1st prize or gold medal – Florin Burcea from Germany.
  • 2nd prize or silver medal – Akhsham Mahsa from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • 3rd prize or bronze medal – Kapralovic Katarina from Serbia.

The award presentation was later followed by a charitable reception and concert at the same venue.
Microelectronics is a fast growing field in the electronic world. Annual Olympiad such as the Armenia organized Olympiad is a step in the right direction to motive involvement in the field.

As electronics companies continue to expand, semiconductor companies are reaping the gains of their investment from the growing demand on their products by the electronic companies. Today’s electronic gadgets are all driven by microelectronics.

Many may not be familiar with these manufacturing companies because their products are hidden in minute forms in smartphones, tablets, TVs and other electronic devices that use them but they are quietly making it big with microelectronic solution manufacture.

For a list of leading manufacturers of semiconductor components, here are the leading companies in the USA and China.

Intel

Intel Corporation manufactures integrated devices. They design and produce motherboards chipsets, integrated circuits, and network interface controllers. The company was established in 1968 with an initial capital of $2.5 million sourced by Arthur Rock. With its headquarters in California, USA, Intel was the first producer of the metal oxide semiconductor. They are well known for the development of Pentium microprocessor in 1993. Their products can be found in HP and Dell computers. Intel’s sales have risen to about $56.31 billion.

Qualcomm

Qualcomm, Inc. is a designer and marketer of wireless telecommunications devices.

Telecommunication companies globally use Qualcomm’s patented CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technologies that have played an important role for wireless communication standards.

Headquartered in the USA, Qualcomm has sales of about $15.44 of its products.

Texas Instruments

Based in Dallas, Texas Instruments is a company that started as an oil and gas focused company but went into semiconductor investment in 1958 and right now has over 40, 000 patents to their name in the electronics sector. It designs and manufactures semiconductors for different manufacturers of electronic products on a global scale.

Texas Instruments is a famous manufacturer of chips for digital processors, mobile devices, and analog semiconductors. The company is famous for the manufacture of calculators. The company has made sales in the region of about $12.35 billion.

Micron Technology

Micron Technology is a company with headquarters in the USA. The company markets semiconductor products globally. The products are used in consumer electronics, computers, automobiles servers and communications. Some of its other manufactured products are rewritable storage products and flash products. It has got a sales volume worth $12.84 billion.

The story in China is no different from what holds in the growth of the semiconductor market in the US. There is much competition in China in this industry. In the last five years, the manufacturers of chips have increased from 500 to 1, 300. In 2016 alone they generated $24.1 billion in revenue to the Chinese economy. Here are the leading companies to take note of in China.

Hisilicon Semiconductors

Hisilicon Semiconductors is a subsidiary of the smartphone company, Huawei, which is also the largest telecommunication gear maker in the world. Located in Shenzhen, the company sells silicon for display technology, surveillance cameras and wireless modem, among others.

The company has a financial base of $3.87 billion

Tsinghua Unigroup

Tsinghua Unigroup is a government backed and China’s strategy to boost the domestic production of semiconductors. The company bought two large companies with technology transfer deals with Intel, RDA Microelectronics and Spreadtrum communications in 2013. With about $1.86 billion worth, the company intends to expand further with an investment of $30 million to build a factory for memory chips.

Also in the plans is the investment plan by its chairman, Zhao Weiguo to invest $47 billion in the coming three years to make it the third biggest chipmaker after Intel and Samsung.

OmniVision

OmniVision is a company that designs image sensors used in tablets, smartphones and cameras. Though founded in the US, OmniVision has its revenue base in China.

It is the biggest smartphone maker in the world. It was sold to Chinese investors in 2015 for about $1.9 billion.

ZTE Microelectronics

ZTE Microelectronics is a subsidiary of ZTE, a telecommunication giant. It is a company that specializes in chip design. In 2016, the company was sanctioned and fined $1.9 billion by the US government for selling telecommunication products containing American components (parts) to Iran.

Semiconductors can hardly be done withoout in today’s world. They are important components in automobiles, communication device, elevators, phones, and computers, just to mention a few.

With the growth of other cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and others, products will always have semiconductors in them.