What Industry Trend Will Have the Biggest Impact in 2022 and Why?

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Well, it’s unanimous – electric vehicles will have a foundational role in 2022, at least if our esteemed panel of experts are anything to go by.

I asked select companies what they thought the biggest industry trend would be for the new year, and all five mentioned EVs. Granted, each came at it from a different perspective – no two companies are alike.

But this is about the clearest consensus you’re likely to get. And thank god for that, because everything else is a giant mystery.

COVID-19’s continued mutation and evolution is far less certain. Who knows how extensively we’ll traverse the Greek alphabet before the coronavirus fizzles out?

As I write this, most of the major trade shows are scheduled to go live, but if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the entire world – trade shows included – can shut down for months (or years) at a time.

Here’s hoping 2022 continues to move more towards the “open” side of the house.

As far as what’ll define the new year, as mentioned, I’d like to highlight five unique perspectives (that nonetheless have one binding similarity).

Ron Demcko, from KYOCERA AVX, leads with one of the biggest buzz words for all end sectors, “efficiency.”

As to specifics, power conversion, IoT modules, microcontrollers, and the physical implications of size and weight reductions are just some of the myriad topics that’ll lead the efficiency conversation in 2022.

“From a power conversion point of view, chip sets and topologies are striving for an increased conversion efficiency. This systems goal is consistent regardless of the power magnitude, ranging from micro energy harvesting to powerful DC/DC converters and beyond,” said Ron.

Over at Alliance Memory, David Bagby alluded to an oft-discussed (and extremely unfortunate) byproduct of COVID-19, the global chip shortage.

Since no one was driving during the pandemic, the chip shortage hit the automotive sector the hardest, and while we’ve already started the recovery process, the growth of electric vehicles should accelerate it in the new year.

Qorvo’s Chris Dries also mentioned the continued electrification of vehicles, with silicon carbide playing a key role in their evolution and general vehicle trends moving forward.

“In 2022, we expect to see the electrification of vehicles continue to accelerate, with SiC design in and design win activity continuing to increase, particularly for vehicle models in 2024 and beyond which are in the design stage right now,” Chris said.

Patrick Kowalyk, from Vicor, notes that conventional 12-V batteries handle many of the same functions for both battery-electric and gas-powered vehicles. This is because auto manufacturers are “grappling with a major design hurdle: the absence of a harmonized, scalable approach for delivering electric power.”

According to Patrick, Vicor is working on a “virtual battery” that responds three times faster than 12V and could have a huge impact in 2022.

Finally, Microchip’s Perry Schugart bridges all the responses with a prediction for the new year that feels eminently achievable:

“Green initiatives are driving one of the biggest continuing trends for 2022: an “electrification of everything” that is transforming power electronic system designs … Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology is at the center of this trend….”

I hope you had a great (or at least bearable) 2021, and this year brings everything closer to normal.