Key Takeaways from CES 2021

January 22, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

Here’s what three of the top players in the power electronics industry had to unveil at the all-digital CES 2021.

This year’s online-only CES trade show provided a channel for power electronics companies to showcase their latest innovations to an international audience, especially in emerging markets such as automotive, IoT and charging applications. 

Three of the industry’s leading names, Texas Instruments, Renesas and Maxim Integrated, unveiled new solutions in these fields at last week’s CES. Here’s a snapshot of what they showcased: 


Texas Instruments: Wireless BMS Technology

Texas Instruments is among the world’s leading power electronics industry players, specializing in analog and embedded processing and generating $14.38 billion in revenue in 2019. According to IC Insights, the company claims a 19% market share in the global analog IC market, making it the top supplier of its kind globally. 

At CES 2021, TI’s banner announcement was its new battery management system (BMS) concept, including a set of electronic chips and a wireless connectivity protocol. 

TI touts that it is the first to demonstrate support for system-level functional safety compliance while improving drive range and reliability through its BQ79616-Q1 precision battery monitor, balancer and integrated protector and SimpleLink CC2662R-Q1 wireless MCU.


Texas Instruments’’ CC2662RQ1-EVM-WBMS SimpleLink wireless BMS development kit board.
Texas Instruments’’ CC2662RQ1-EVM-WBMS SimpleLink wireless BMS development kit board. (Image courtesy of TI) 


Also in the automotive segment, TI unveiled its Jacinto DRA821 processors for cloud-based gateway systems and fully integrated automotive GaN FETs, which boost battery range and reliability at lower costs by reducing the size of EV on-board chargers and DC/DC converters by as much as 50%.

In the automation space, TI showcased new advanced sensing and processing technologies for advanced driver assist systems, in-cabin sensing, adaptive headlights and other vehicle applications, as well as automated robots used in factory settings and last mile-deliveries. 

Other TI products showcased at CES 2021 cover its connectivity, patient monitoring and high-resolution display segments.


Renesas: Wireless Charging

Tokyo-based Renesas Electronics Corporation provides microcontrollers, analog and system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for automotive, IoT, industrial, infrastructure and 5G applications. The company particularly dominates in the automotive microcontroller sector, snagging a 30% share of the global market. In 2019, Renesas’ automotive business accounted for 52% (or 371.1 billion yen) of its 718.2 billion yen in total revenue. Its industrial, infrastructure and IoT products claimed 46% (or 329.7 billion yen) of overall revenue.

Ahead of CES, Renesas announced the industry’s first 60W wireless power receiver IC for smartphone, laptop and mobile device charging. Integrated with the company’s WattShare TRx mode (offering up to 10W Tx capability), the new P9418 single-chip power solution delivers up to 60W of power as a receiver, the highest power density solution. Renesas’ existing customers can combine the receiver with other battery charging and power delivery solutions to accelerate application design and development. 

At CES 2021, Renesas executives delivered keynotes on the company’s analog components and digital product lineup. Renesas showcased its new R-Car V3U autonomous driving processor and software development kit, A&P solutions for battery management and intelligent position sensor applications, cloud connectivity and secure gateway architectures, and additional analog and power solutions for xEV and ADAS applications. 

On the week of CES 2021, Renesas announced a new partnership with Microsoft. The firm’s R-Car Starter Kit now uses Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform and Azure cloud, AI and edge services to help customers advance cloud-connected vehicle development. 


Maxim Integrated: Solar Harvesting & Automotive Security

San Jose, California-based Maxim Integrated is one of the top providers of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits. In 2020, just over half of its $2.2 billion in revenue was sourced from sales through distributors, namely Avnet Electronic, and Samsung is the company’s largest end customer. In July 2020, semiconductor giant Analog Devices announced plans to acquire Maxim Integrated for $20.9 billion. The transaction is expected to close this summer. 

At CES 2021, Maxim Integrated unveiled its new MAX20361 single-/multi-cell solar harvester with maximum power point tracking. The product reduces the runtime of space-constrained applications, such as wearables and IoT devices, while increasing energy efficiency by up to 5%. Maxim Integrated says MAX20361 is the industry’s smallest solar harvesting solution, at least 50% smaller than its main competitor. 


Maxim Integrated’s MAX20361 solar harvester for IoT and wearable applications offers extended runtime at half the size of competitors.
Maxim Integrated’s MAX20361 solar harvester for IoT and wearable applications offers extended runtime at half the size of competitors. (Image courtesy of Maxim Integrated)


Maxim also announced its new DS28E40 DeepCover secure authenticator IC, part of its line of automotive security solutions. The product authenticates and verifies that only genuine components are used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicle batteries, allowing manufacturers to improve the overall safety and security of connected components in their vehicle systems.