Electronics inside

The world wouldn’t be smart without electronic components

By Claire Marchand

What do artificial intelligence, robotics, biometrics, virtual and augmented reality, sports innovations, digital health and 5G connectivity have in common? First, they were all singled out at CES 2018, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as mega trends that will have an impact on society this year and in the future. Secondly, they all rely heavily on electronic components – in fact they would not even exist if not for them.

connected cars Communication between cars and/or with traffic signals is expected to make roads safer (Photo: Joe Barkai blog)

Small and indispensable

Electronic components are at the heart of the smart world we live in. Human activities – home, workplace, leisure and sports, travel and tourism, education, healthcare – increasingly depend on a smart something or other. 

All this connectivity and smartness would not be possible without electronic components, sensors, in the first place. Sensors are what make devices smart, and they have become smart themselves. They form a crucial and integral part of the internet of things (IoT). The "thing" in IoT can be a person with a glucose-monitoring skin wearable, a car that can detect blind spots or alert the driver when tire pressure is higher or lower than what it should be, a farm animal with a biochip transponder that tracks all its movements, in brief any object that can be assigned an IP address and can transfer data to a network. 

Quality and reliability come first

Electronic components are key elements that enable devices to connect and exchange data. Because they are used in so many different devices and systems, they have to be of high quality and reliability. A faulty component in a smart medical device or in a car electronic system can result at best in poor performance but also in injuries or fatalities. 

The IECQ solution

Electronic component manufacturers and suppliers all over the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ testing and certification. IECQ is the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components. 

As the worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards. 

In addition, there are a multitude of related materials and processes that are covered by the IECQ Schemes. IECQ certificates are used worldwide as a tool to monitor and control the manufacturing supply chain, thus helping to reduce costs and time to market, and eliminating the need for multiple re-assessments of suppliers. 

IECQ operates industry specific Certification Schemes: 

More information on IECQ: www.iecq.org

Gallery
implantable medical devices Implantable medical devices have many advantages but one major flaw: they can be hacked! (Infographics: KQED Science)
connected cars Communication between cars and/or with traffic signals is expected to make roads safer (Photo: Joe Barkai blog)
smart cows Smart collars can monitor a cow’s health and location (Photo: Cowlar)