UK electronics industry: the new frontier

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Recent feats of engineering, like the launch of the Philae landing craft which touched down on a comet last November, demonstrate that the UK has an important part to play in the global electronics industry.

Production shops based in the UK have earned a strong reputation, making top quality components in technical and specialised industries. And the available evidence predicts a growing demand for these types of products in the not too distant future.

Whilst the quantity of our electronic exports has certainly dipped as volume production moves east, there is no doubting the quality of the electronic components which are still manufactured in Britain.

The British-made circuit boards capable of travelling 480 KM/second

Asteroid flying through space

The UK electronics industry had a major role to play in the European Space Agencies (ESA) mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The satellite was built by Airbus Defence & Space in Hertfordshire. E2v, another Hertfordshire company supplied the camera which became the first to take a photo of a comet in deep space and a whole host of other talented British companies had a role to play in the design, build, testing and launch of the landing craft.

The shape of the industry has changed dramatically since Philae set off from earth early in the 21st century. The majority of chip production has moved to countries in the Far East like Taiwan, but there is still a lot more specialised manufacturing taking place in the UK.

Much of what remains in the UK is very niche, low-volume prototyping work which is in high demand for technical businesses. 14 of the 20 biggest semi-conductor companies have set up design/manufacturing bases in the UK and analysts predict that more growth is yet to come.

Looking to the future of UK electronics

New technologies are opening up new doors in the electronics industry. Commentators point to new industry trends and believe that the UK is well placed to take advantage of some of the newest and most profitable possibilities.

The Internet of Things is one new technology/medium which has the potential to drive a lot of technological innovation in the UK. Sensors and outputs coupled with ingenious apps which have the power to influence our everyday lives are going to be big business in months and years to come.

With an abundance of relevant skills, a stock of young ambitious designers and the huge availability of top-quality engineering houses up and down the country, Britain has the power to corner a large portion of this market and make its stamp on the globe and the universe.

Hi5 electronics looks forward to working with talented designers, helping them deliver new and innovative products to a mass market. If you need help in turning your designs into a working prototype, try our market-leading pcb prototyping service.