The connector industry is sensitive to changes in the downstream application field. The size and demand changes of the terminal market and the change of technology have a great impact on the electronic connector market scale.
According to data, the actual market demand in 2020 was 62.7 billion USD. In 2021, the market scale reached 73.63 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 17.43%. It further grew to 79.85 billion USD in 2022. It is estimated that the global electronic connector market scale is expected to reach 90.4 billion USD in 2025.
Connector market development trend
As the sales of global smartphones begin to decline in 2022, new energy electric vehicles and industry 4.0 will become the main growth drivers of the global economy, and the connector market will also benefit from this trend.
In 2023, all walks of life will invest more in application systems that use real-time data to drive major advancements in the automotive, consumer devices, data centers, and connected healthcare markets.
In view of the interconnection of data, powerful application systems such as artificial intelligence, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality), digital twins, sensors and machine learning will appear in society, which are used in product design and creative conception, and extended to a wider range of fields. It is used for supply chain intelligent construction, advanced manufacturing and contract performance, providing customers with unprecedented value.
Due to the rich data that can be collected, the first wave of highly intelligent specific application software has appeared on the market. These application software are changing all walks of life. The large amount of data generated has brought network delay problems and challenged network bandwidth.
It is predicted that cross-functional data collection will increase in order to develop comprehensive demand planning and provide an end-to-end supply chain situation in the entire electronics ecosystem. With comprehensive risk observation capabilities, the industry will enhance logistics visibility, event recovery capabilities, and transportation capabilities, while digital twin technology will play an important role in improving supply chain visibility, agility, and other performance.
Industry 4.0: spawns digital twins, brings new opportunities for connector industry
Industry 4.0 promises to realize the vision of digital manufacturing through the automation and connection of smart devices, machines and production processes, thereby increasing efficiency while reducing costs and risks and shortening time to market. As cyber and physical processes converge on factory floors around the world, there will be a convergence of methods, thinking and technology, and the world will usher in a new era of increased productivity that will be the future of manufacturing.
With the popularity of 5G, new changes can be found in connector technology
5G represents the next generation of wireless communication technology. The promise of 5G’s greater network capacity, lower latency and faster speeds is exciting for all sectors, but the value of this technological advancement will only be realized when 5G is applied in practical situations that bring mutual benefits to end users accomplish.
That’s why engineers around the world are working hard to take advantage of 5G in a variety of applications, including gaming, virtual reality, self-driving cars and wireless surveillance. In each case, 5G promises to enable new business models as businesses begin to take advantage of greater data connectivity.
Investment and innovation are clearly playing a role in ensuring that 5G networks live up to the hype. The challenge for design engineers is to create a new type of 5G product that is both suitable for mass production and meets customer expectations. This means selecting the most suitable 5G components and integrating them properly into highly sensitive environments, while also ensuring they are accurately tested.
It predicts that 5G will be widely deployed within 2-5 years and believe that it will bring great benefits to end users in all application fields. It will also stimulate direct demand for consumer products and fixed wireless access systems, so it is critical that OEMs and CSPs work with partners who are ahead of technology demand trends.
In the consumer market, phones will continue to evolve with faster speeds, support for 5G networks, longer battery life, higher-resolution cameras, and more advanced features. All of these developments will affect the direction of interconnect solutions.
What changes need to be made in connector technology of new energy electric vehicles?
The development of new energy vehicles is in full swing, and it will be one of the important driving forces for global economic development in the next ten years. Over the past few years, most of the leading global automakers have entered the EV market, with China leading the way. The development of this field has also put forward different requirements for connector technology, showing the following three major trends:
1. The car battery swap mode stimulates the development of battery swap connectors.
In the application of the new energy vehicle battery swap mode, the battery swap connector is the only electrical interface of the battery pack, which needs to provide mixed connections of high voltage, low voltage, communication and grounding at the same time.
In the process of quick battery replacement, there is an error in the coordination between the battery and the vehicle, and the battery replacement connector needs to have floating compensation capabilities. In addition, due to the high frequency of battery replacement, the power replacement connector also needs to meet the requirements of high life and low maintenance costs.
2. Electrification promotes the development of high-voltage connectors.
The electrification of automobiles has gradually increased the requirements for internal electrical connection components. Compared with traditional fuel vehicles, electric vehicles often have higher voltage and current platforms. As the “blood vessel” of new energy vehicles, high-voltage connectors are one of the core components in the high-voltage system of automobiles. They are mainly used in DC, water heating PTC chargers, air heating PTCs, DC charging ports, power motors, high-voltage wiring harnesses, maintenance switches, inverter, power battery, high voltage box, electric air conditioner, AC charging port, etc.
Now electric vehicles will gradually evolve from 400V to 800V architecture, which puts forward higher requirements for the reliability, volume and electrical performance of the connector, and its mechanical performance, electrical performance and environmental performance will continue to improve. After boosting, the high-voltage connector will be re-selected to increase the high-power fast charging interface and the conversion interface from 400V to 800V, which will drive the value of the high-voltage connector to increase.
3. Intelligentization accelerates the development of intelligent network connectors.
The intelligent driving system needs to interconnect ultrasonic radar, millimeter wave radar, camera, lidar, gateway, VCU, antenna, GPS, 5G communication, etc. With the rapid increase in the penetration rate of high-level ADAS, the amount of on-board sensors has increased, and the data transmission requirements have increased accordingly, and the use of intelligent network connectors has also increased.