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Fit for purpose

MCUs for portable medical devices require functional density and low power.

The home healthcare equipment is set to become a high growth market and total spending is predicted to rise significantly over the next 10 years.
Sales of semiconductors for use in portable healthcare devices are expected to grow from $171million in 2005 to $250m by 2013. Such products will be used in devices which track blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and blood glucose levels, enabling self diagnostics and treatment.
While consumer products are generally very price sensitive, the consumer portable health market adds other stringent requirements. First and foremost, products must be reliable and accurate. Additionally, portable medical devices should have the following features:
· Ease of use
· Easy, secure connectivity
· Long battery life
· High measurement accuracy
· Small form factor
· Low cost
In order to deliver such features to the consumer within budget, engineers cannot continue to design such products with discrete components.
Semiconductor suppliers will need to supply integrated solutions to the portable healthcare market to support increased performance and reliability within strict power and cost budgets. The workhorse will be highly integrated mixed signal microcontrollers that can deliver high performance at the lowest supply currents.

Len Staller

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