The ups and downs of 2020 and the components industry

Component supply rebounds in Q2

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an interesting effect on many industries across the world. Some industries (like travel, entertainment, or restaurant industries) were flipped upside down. Under strict lockdown orders, citizens across the globe were unable or unwilling to leave their homes for the better part of 2020.

However, some industries weathered the storm or even benefitted during these unprecedented times. This can be said for the electronic components industry, which is actually expected to grow by six percent from a tumultuous 2020 to 2021. That growth was most evident in the sensor market and artificial intelligence sectors.

Sensor Market Growth

The sensor market is an area that has seen particularly strong growth this year, a surge that can be directly attributed to the pandemic. As COVID-19 distancing restrictions were imposed, several industries were impacted and many companies had to shift to robotics and industrial automation. In these environments, robotics contain several sensors to maximize safety and internal functionality, like battery management, temperature management, and orientation.

This unforeseen shift to robotics and cloud computing led to an increased demand for sensors across several verticals, including oil and gas, manufacturing, and energy and power. As such, a study by Global Market Insights predicts the segment can be worth over $3.5 billion by 2026, a seven percent growth.

Reliance on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has been on a tear in recent years, carving out a sizable share of the industry. In fact, AI has gained such momentum that the technology is estimated to contribute an astounding $15.7 trillion to the global economy over the next 10 years. As AI started gaining steam, we saw a shift from hypothetical “what if?” scenarios to real-life, practical applications. The digital fingerprint of AI is vast and has a profound impact on various industries.

In particular, AI is heavily relied upon in the transportation sector (the autonomous car concept is nothing without AI), manufacturing (robots utilize AI to perform tasks more efficiently and extrapolate data, removing operational redundancies), and healthcare, where surgical robots carry out surgeries with pinpoint precision and virtual nursing assistants aid healthcare workers in computing the prognosis and requirements of high-needs patients. Experts even believe that AI could be crucial in solving world hunger.

Trade War

China and the U.S. have been embroiled in a bitter and well-publicized trade war for the last two years. The trade war has seen the U.S. impose roughly $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, while China retaliated with $110 billion in tariffs on U.S. products. This fight amongst two of the world’s largest economies has, of course, thwarted the bottom line of several industries, including the components industry.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. After the two nations have imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on their respective products, it seems the trade war is finally concluding, readying the electronics industry for a strong 2021.

Bright Forecast for Electronics Industry

Yes, 2020 has had its ups and downs, and many industries have felt the incredible strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, aside from inevitable hiccups, the components industry remained stable and even looks to grow as we enter 2021. Driven by the sensor market and the vast potential of AI, the industry looks to have sunny skies ahead.


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