The company uses the term “energy harvesting” – or “power scavenging” – to refer to power that is derived from heat given off by motors or semiconductors, the vibrations of motors or other moving objects or ambient RF energy. In a new research report examining the market opportunity for energy harvesting outside of large solar installations and commercial power generation – Energy Harvesting: Reaping the Abundant Market – the firm estimates that the semiconductor content for energy harvesting solutions will grow to $3.4 billion by 2022.

“While there is a great deal of interest in the different types of energy harvesting devices or energy generators,” says Joanne Itow, Semico’s Manager of Manufacturing Research, “the greater opportunity for the semiconductor industry is the overall solution which includes power conversion, power management, microcontrollers, radios, and MEMS sensors. The advent of IoT with remote monitoring and data collection has also prompted more interest in energy harvesting as a viable solution to maintain WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks).”

According to the report, a broad range of markets will employ energy harvesting to either replace batteries or extend battery life. These applications include wireless sensor nodes (WSN) for bridges, infrastructure, building automation and controls, home automation (including lighting, security, and environmental, automotive applications, cell phones, wearables, and other consumer electronics.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The number of devices with an energy harvesting solution will reach 509 million units by 2022
  • Consumer devices (including toys) with energy harvesting accounted for 8 million units in 2017
  • Bridges are expected to be a large user of energy harvesting in the infrastructure sector by 2022
  • Energy harvesting devices in all buildings is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.7% by 2022

Companies mentioned in the report include chip vendors, energy storage vendors, energy generator vendors, energy harvesting solution providers, and other ecosystem vendors. Some of the companies cited include Analog Devices, Cypress Semiconductor, EnOcean, Maxim Integrated, Microchip Technology, Powercast, Renesas, Semtech, Silicon Labs, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Apple, Laird, National Instruments, Nikola Labs, Eta Compute, and Mentor Graphics.

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