Research: faster design and development presents the major opportunity AI in electronics

ByteSnap Design, an award-winning embedded design consultancy, has released the findings of its survey on the impact and perceptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the electronics industry: entitled AI in Electronics: Balancing Promise and Pragmatism. This study, drawing on insights from 400 electronics professionals across the UK, provides a comprehensive look into the current landscape of AI adoption, its challenges, usage, and future in the industry.

The report will be launched at this year’s Design + Engineering Show on stand 4-Q80, where ByteSnap Design will also showcase its Automated Electronic Product Design Service, which offers light-touch outsourced electronics development; a range of complex embedded systems projects, from medical technology, to novel radio systems for IoT designs; and custom Linux development.

Dunstan Power, Director at ByteSnap Design explained: “As AI starts to impact the electronics industry, understanding how professionals perceive and implement it helps us to predict future trends and potential challenges. ByteSnap Design’s research aims to provide a comprehensive overview of AI’s impact on the electronics industry. Its insights are useful for industry stakeholders looking to make informed decisions about AI integration.”

Key findings

Speedier AI-boosted design and development presents a major opportunity

63% of professionals surveyed see AI as a catalyst for accelerating design and development cycles, emphasising its role in enhancing efficiency. Lowering operational costs present a strong case for AI’s financial benefits among 55% of respondents. While 45.5% see AI enabling more tailored and innovative designs, showcasing its potential to drive innovation. 43% value AI’s capabilities in improving simulation and testing, reflecting its importance in quality assurance.

Component selection tops use cases

Current uses of AI are varied with no clear use case winner currently. The popular use cases included component recommendation (16%) as the most popular; computer vision for quality control (15.2%), enhancing defect detection in production; and natural language processing for technical documentation review (14.2%) and streamlining document management.

Additionally, predictive maintenance of manufacturing equipment (14%) helps prevent downtime, while AI tools for software debugging and code checking (10.2%) and enhanced code generation (5.2%) improves software development efficiency.

ChatGPT most used AI platform

ChatGPT is the most popular AI platform, with 60% of survey participants using it for work. Google AI services, particularly the Gemini chatbot, and Microsoft Azure are each used by 10.7%, while IBM’s Watsonx, used for building and training AI, is used by 5%.  3% could not specify the AI they used, often indicating the use of in-house AI solutions.

Security risks lead concerns list

67.7% expressed concerns about the security implications of AI technologies, underscoring the need for robust security measures. While 51.7% fear potential job displacement, highlighting widespread anxieties about automation’s impact on employment. 28% cited copyright and intellectual property issues, while 26% worried about the loss of orders or work due to AI integration, pointing to the complex legal landscape surrounding AI.

Moderate impact on changing work dynamics

In terms of the impact AI on work dynamics, 42% reported that AI is of moderate impact, and has somewhat changed their work routines, indicating a gradual integration of the technology. 23.2% indicated that AI has profoundly transformed their professional tasks, highlighting its disruptive potential. While 13% expect AI to start impacting their work within the next year, pointing to anticipated widespread adoption.

Confidence in AI usage growing

46.7% of respondents are showing increasing confidence, reflecting a positive upswing in AI literacy. While 23% feel fully confident in their AI skills, a notable 13.7% find AI perplexing or burdensome. These figures underscore the essential requirement for continuous education and support.

The report also uncovers timescales for adoption, preferred education resources to improve understanding of AI, most popular technologies and more.

“This survey provides a nuanced understanding of AI’s impact on the electronics industry. We are at the start of an exciting journey and see AI providing support across most electronics disciplines. Whether we choose to adopt it now or in a year’s time, there is no doubt that firms bringing it into product lifecycles will benefit from speedier development and ability to increase focus on innovation,” concluded Graeme Wintle, Director at ByteSnap Design.

Download the full report here: https://www.bytsnp.uk/Mrus