Market Insights

# Powering the Wearables Market: An Interview with Andrew Baker of Maxim Integrated

March 07, 2020 by Hailey Stewart

## Maxim Integrated’s healthcare unit looks to make wearables more powerful and medically useful for consumers.

As the need for power products permeate the wearables market, Maxim Integrated looks to be an innovator in the booming space.

In this interview, we spoke with Andrew Baker, managing director of the Industrial and Healthcare unit at Maxim Integrated, about the MAX20340 Bi-directional DC Powerline Communication IC, a wireless earbud application that is composed of a PLC chip which minimizes the number mechanical contact points for the charging and communication interface. This product reduces cost, limits the possible points of failure and increases reliability.

##### Image 1: Image courtesy of Maxim Integrated.

Maxim has seen an increased demand for health sensing functions in wireless earbuds.

#### EE Power: What do you predict the market will look like for wearables in the next five years?

Andrew Baker: I think what's going to happen, and we're already seeing evidence of this, is that smartwatches will be a huge growth area. What we're seeing is that there are more and more measurement modalities being attached to the devices.

These devices are really about overall wellness — predictive as well as preventative. What we're seeing is that clinicians are actually suggesting or asking their patients to buy these types of devices so that they can monitor themselves.

With the advent of cloud analytics, machine learning, and AIs, we’re getting much more useful information out of these devices. Clinicians are starting to think that these things are useful. I think that’s going to drive adoption. As these devices get more and more technically sophisticated, it will also drive the refresh of these types of products.

In order to achieve the integration of these devices into everyday life, they need to be small, convenient, and unobtrusive. But the common theme on the design side is that because they need to be so small, there is not much room for batteries. So, in order to get there, every design needs to allow for peak power efficiency.