Semiconductors Revealed in Everyday Items
January 20, 2022
By Elizabeth Prochaska
As we dive into 2022, demand for products using semiconductors has never been higher. There is a high probability that you yourself received gifts during the holidays that use semiconductor chips! I am always fascinated by the sheer volume of common products that need chips, so to give some perspective on what this really means, we’ve compiled this list of everyday products that you may have not realized use these chips.
- Smartphones: Your phone relies heavily on semiconductors to function. From the multiple cameras to knowing to change the direction of the image on your phone when you turn it horizontal, is all powered by semiconductors.
- Digital cameras: Semiconductors make up image sensors that detect and convey visual images to create pictures and videos.
- Laptops: Computers are probably one of the first examples we think of when talking about semiconductor chips. Computing and storing files on your computer are feasible because of chips.
- Televisions: Semiconductor chips process the picture quality and operate all the applications that you downloaded to your smart TV.
- Smart watches: Semiconductors monitor your heart rate, sleep cycle, steps, and more. Smart watches continually are being improved to have more capabilities, including even storing your credit card information so you can pay at the store with your watch.
- Videogame consoles: Gaming stations use some of the most complex semiconductor chips and some companies even have them custom made. Chips power the graphic displays and the central processing functions of the device.
- Bluetooth speaker: Chips handle most of the functions performed by Bluetooth speakers. They control battery charging, voltage regulation, audio amplification, and communication with the device connected via Bluetooth.
Smart Appliances and Tools
- Ovens: Modern ovens have capabilities such as remote start, voice-control, and temperature sensing that are possible because of semiconductor chips.
- Refrigerators: Semiconductor chips regulate the temperature of refrigerators, offering stability for keeping your food chilled.
- Washers & dryers: Chips are used in washing machines and dryers to weigh your clothes so they can operate more efficiently based on the amount of clothes they need to clean.
- Coffee maker: Programmable coffee makers use semiconductor chips to know what the date and time is so that it can prepare your coffee every morning, exactly when you want it to.
- Electric toothbrush: Semiconductors capture the orientation of the toothbrush while being used. The data is analyzed and is used to make brushing recommendations for healthier dental hygiene.
- Smart thermostats: The display screens on home thermostats are controlled by display semiconductors. Chips also enable you to control the environment of your home remotely from your smartphone.
- Doorbell security cameras: Semiconductor chips process the video content and send a notification to your smart phone.
- Robot vacuum: Semiconductor chips enable robot vacuums to memorize the layout of your home so they can efficiently clean your floors and know where it left off if it needs to go back to the charging station before finishing a cleaning.
- Dog trackers: Collars or tags worn by your dog use chips to monitor their GPS location.
- Automobiles: From regulating fuel to driver assistance parking in modern vehicles, chips are used many ways in vehicles. A high-end vehicle can contain as many as 3,000 semiconductor chips.
- Motorcycles: A motorcycle can require 1,000 semiconductor chips to run safely and efficiently. Newer motorcycles also use chips for adaptive cruise control, which accelerates/decelerates the motorcycle to avoid collisions.
- E-bikes: Chips help e-bikes manage their battery usage and allow the rider to select how much assistance they want while pedaling.
- E-scooters: Semiconductors help communicate between the rider and the battery pack to notify how much energy to release, which propels the scooter forward.
It is astonishing when you realize that many of the items that you use on a daily basis rely on semiconductors to work safely, efficiently and effectively. Semiconductors make such a large impact on everyday life for being such tiny components. And as someone who works in the semiconductor industry, it’s always rewarding to know the role NSTAR® and I play in bringing these products to market – and you can too! Connect with us to learn how you can be part of this exciting industry.