12/6/2011 7:00 AM EST
What follows is a list of 20 technologies EE Times editors think can bring big changes, and that we will be tracking during 2012.
Given the pace of technological change, limiting our list to 20 topics doesn’t really do the subject justice but in many ways our chosen topics embrace numerous others. Technology does not exist in a vacuum. Ideas behind each technology are interconnected both conceptually – and sometimes physically – through engineers, consumers, companies, events and market trends.
The significance can sometimes be as simple as how a well-turned phrase catches the essence of a technology sector, such as the way system-on-chip (SoC) replaced application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) as a descriptor, a decade ago. For instance, is today’s “Internet of Things” the same or different from machine-to-machine communications? Whichever buzz phrase we choose, the key is whether the technology will enable products to succeed and markets to grow.
The pictures used with the topics are not necessarily new in 2011 but examples from the past that illustrate why we think these technologies will flourish in the future