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Electronica displays a future that is ‘smart’ and secure

The biggest electronica ever includes 80,000 visitors — an increase of 10%


More than 3,100 exhibitors from over 50 countries gathered at the Munich trade fair site last week, collaborating to create some in-depth insights into the electronics of the future, with their solutions and products. The focal topics of this year’s bi-annual trade fair included blockchain, artificial intelligence and medical electronics. 

“electronica is the most important meeting place for the electronics industry and this year recorded 8% more exhibitors, 10% growth in the number of visitors and a more than 20% increase in area,” enthused Falk Senger, managing director of Messe München. “We are really pleased that exhibitors and visitors embrace the increasing relevance of electronica.”

In terms of the number of exhibitors, the leading countries were Germany followed by China, Taiwan, the U.S. and Great Britain (in order). Observing the growing influence of artificial intelligence in everyday life, Kurt Sievers, president NXP & CEO NXP Semiconductors Germany, emphasized this year’s slogan of electronica ‘Connecting everything—smart, safe & secure’

“First, artificial intelligence needs a functioning communications infrastructure. Second, consumers will only embrace artificial intelligence if they can approach it with a sense of security and trust,” says Sievers.

From the perspective of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, the trade fair was a success, noted Christoph Stoppok, head of components, mobility & systems. “The positive trend in the electronics market is also continued at electronica 2018. Nevertheless, the shortage of skilled labor is an issue that must not be ignored. With ‘electronica Experience’, electronica has created a successful format to inspire pupils and students for the subject of electronics.”

Facts and figures on the trade fair

80,000 trade visitors from over 80 countries came to Munich. Visitor satisfaction again reached a new all-time high, as the survey shows: 99 percent of visitors gave the event a rating of good to excellent. In terms of the number of visitors, the top countries were Germany followed by Italy, Austria, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Switzerland, the U.S., the Russian Federation, China and Poland (in order).

CEO round table dominated by artificial intelligence

On the fair’s first day, prestigious industry representatives discussed the importance of artificial intelligence for electronics. The participants in the talk included Jean-Marc Chery (STMicroelectronics), Dean Ding (Alibaba), Alexander Kocher (Elektrobit), Reinhard Ploss (Infineon), Walden Rhines (Mentor Graphics) and Kurt Sievers (NXP). At the CEO round table, Reinhard Ploss emphasized the need for a sustainable approach to the issue of artificial intelligence.

“We’ve a raft of strong industries in Germany. Artificial intelligence will enter them everywhere and supplement or even replace existing things. It’s therefore important to develop an AI strategy in order to establish a digital industry in Germany and Europe.” 

electronica Experience successfully launched

In Hall C6, the new format “electronica Experience” focused on networking between exhibitors, school pupils, students and trade visitors. On all four days of the trade fair, applications, live demos and a jobs fair provided insights into the world of electronics and its professions. The highlight was its opening by the U.S. economist Jeremy Rifkin on the first day of the fair. In his talk, he voiced clear demands relating to the use of artificial intelligence: “We need to understand what we can use AI for and what not. Big data plays a major role in communication, energy and transportation. AI makes sense in those sectors in order to increase efficiency and cut costs.”

Successful premiere of Medical Electronics Conference

Medicine meets electronics: Physicians and electronics engineers discussed for the first time the future of medicine at the electronica Medical Electronics Conference (eMEC), which was devoted to the topic of medical electronics and networking of electronics engineers and physicians. The topic of the discussion was “The Connected Human: Healthier thanks to electronics and data?” Oliver Hayden, Head of the Department for Medical Electronics at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, draws a positive verdict: “The eMEC format with several stages in the direct vicinity was refreshing and an elegant means of giving participants the chance to learn, meet and talk. I’m looking forward to the next Medical Electronic Conference.” The electronica Automotive Conference (eAC), the electronica Embedded Platforms Conference (eEPC), the Wireless Congress and 16 more forums rounded off electronica’s extensive supporting program. 

SEMICON Europa for the first time

More than 300 exhibitors from SEMICON Europa showcased their solutions and products from the field of semiconductor production in Hall A4. Ajit Manocha, CEO and President of the industry association SEMI, stated: “Our exhibitors are very pleased with the new collaboration between SEMICON Europa and electronica—it’s a real benefit for the entire value chain of the electronics industry.” Next year SEMICON Europa will be held as part of productronica.

The next electronica will take place in Munich from November 10-13, 2020.