The global electronics industry is worth billions of dollars. It can trace its roots back to innovations like the gramophone and radio communications. These inventions were followed by the personal computer, and today, the industry is exploding with new developments.
Most of the industry’s work happens in semi-automated factories where circuits are integrated, primarily through PCB assembly (printed circuit board assembly). The U.S market for consumer electronics (mostly entertainment and communications devices for everyday use) exceeded 100 billion last year. Without this industry, we would be without many of the things we can’t imagine life without, including laptops, GPS devices, calculators, phones, DVD players, and cameras.
Competition is stiff in the industry, with many companies competing for a share of the high-stakes market. Several stand out, though. Here’s a look at five top U.S. electronics companies.
- Texas Instruments – They may be most famous for their calculators, but there’s a lot more to TI. The global semiconductor company introduced the first functional integrated circuit in the 1950s. Today, it manufacturers and supplies digital signal processors, digital light processing, discrete and integrated circuits and a broad range of semiconductor products and chips.
- Cisco – Cisco is the largest networking company in the world, with products like routers, switches, wireless systems, and security systems. It also offers unified computing, storage networking and cloud computing services.
- IBM – The International Business Machines Corporation is a behemoth that has been ranked as the second largest company in the U.S. in terms of its number of employees. It is a technology and consulting firm that offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services.
- Hewlett-Packard – HP has come a long way from its beginnings in a one-car garage in California with founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard working to create a line of electronic test equipment. The company was the world’s largest PC manufacturer from 2007 to 2013. It specializes in data storage, networking hardware, software design, and developing and manufacturing computing.
- Intel – This well-known company is the world’s second largest and second highest-valued semiconductor chipmaker based on revenue. (Samsung is the largest). Intel developed the microprocessors that are found in most personal computers.
The next time you open your laptop to search for an answer on the Internet or navigate to an unknown location with the push of a button, consider these leading electronics companies. Their constant push to build better products and provide better services have made the seemingly impossible a reality.