Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
Discrete semiconductors are considered the heroes of the modern digital world. They are present in every aspect of digital technology that is being used, including wearable technology. As the name suggests, wearable technology encompasses different electronic devices that users wear on different parts of the body. These devices are used for different purposes. They are embedded with sensors and other high-tech features that record and track various critical data about the wearer.
Over the years, we have witnessed a steady rise in wearable technology. Devices such as smartwatches, medical devices, fitness trackers, virtual reality headsets, and location trackers among many other devices have dominated the wearable technology market. On the other hand, it is difficult to underestimate the roles that these devices play in making our lives easy and convenient.
At the center of this fast-growing technology are the discrete semiconductor components. They control every aspect of the wearable technology devices. Some are used for performing very basic functions such as powering wearable devices while others connect the devices to other devices in a network. Keep reading as we discuss the various roles of semiconductor components in the growth and development of wearable technology.
Overview of the wearable technology
To give you a better understanding about the roles of semiconductors in discrete semiconductors in wearable technology, let’s have a brief overview of this technology, how it has evolved, and its current position.
A typical wearable device has the capacity to gather essential data about its wearer or even environment. The type of information it collects will depend on how it has been configured by the manufacturer. Some wearable devices have sensors to collect data about the speed at which the user is walking or running, temperature, heartrate, and breathing rate, among other parameters. Most modern wearable devices have the capacity to collect several data at once. This means that you won’t have to use different devices for different functions.
These devices also come in different designs and forms. It all depends on the target use. Watches are the most common forms of wearable devices. These are worn on wrists. Other forms include jewels, glasses, headsets, clothes, and many other forms.
Other than the configuration, wearable devices are packed with an array of electronic features that allow them to execute different roles. These features include connectivity, communication features, display features, power optimization, data storage, and data processing, among others. Buyers usually look at these features before buying any device as they will determine the performance and convenience of using a device.
What about the wearable technology market?
Currently, the wearable technology market is at the take-off stage. The market is flooded with different wearable devices from different brands. Smartwatches, fitness bands, and health-monitoring devices rank among the most popular wearable devices in this market segment. VR headsets are also becoming popular due to the growth of this technology. In the recent years, we have seen manufacturers of smartphones expanding to the wearable devices.
The growth of wearable technology is also providing new opportunities to the discrete semiconductor industry. These semiconductors implement various functionalities in the wearable devices. For example, Micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMs) sensors which are embedded into wearable devices are 100% built of discrete semiconductor components.
Processors in wearable technology
Wearable devices are small versions of computers. They also have microprocessors and microcontrollers. These two components are responsible for executing and interpreting data types that are fed into the system. They also determine how other components and functionalities in a wearable device should operate.
Discrete semiconductors are used for making microprocessors. The high switching speed of transistors makes them capable of performing both the arithmetic and logical functions in devices.
Power management in wearable devices
Almost all wearable devices depend on rechargeable batteries for power. The power that is stored in the batteries should sustain the operations of the device for a long period. This implies that one of the must-have features of wearable technology is energy efficiency. You should be able to use your device conveniently without worrying about power issues.
Discrete semiconductors are widely used in the power management of wearable devices. They control the flow of electric current in the devices hence minimizing any form of power loss. As power managers, these semiconductor components also protect the devices from various risks that are associated with the use of electricity such as high current and voltage.
Connectivity of the wearable technology
Rarely do the devices in wearable technology operate independently. In most cases, they are connected to other devices, applications, and systems. For example, a fitness tracker will be connected to a smartphone for ease of data storage and monitoring of the performance of a user. Some smartwatches allow you to play music, meaning that they will be connected to a headset through Bluetooth technology.
We are living in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) where devices have to be interconnected to each other. In some applications, wearable devices are fully part of the IoT and hence should be embedded with features that facilitate connections between them and other devices.
Different discrete semiconductor components are used for facilitating connections between wearable devices and other devices.
Data storage in wearable technology
Since wearable devices are micro-computers, they also have memory unit that is responsible for data storage. Various data such as heart rate, speed, steps, temperature, or any other data that is recorded by a wearable device is stored in the memory unit. Discrete semiconductors are among the components that make up the memory units of such devices.
In conclusion, we have fully illustrated the various critical roles that semiconductors play in wearable technology. They are responsible for processing capability, sensing, power management, connectivity, miniaturization, and a pack of other vital features in wearable devices. They take some significant credit in the evolution of wearable technology.
Are you building or assembling a wearable device? You should ensure that you buy the right discrete semiconductors from the best manufacturers and suppliers. A reputable discrete semiconductor will help you find such manufacturers.
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