The potentiometer is an electric component used to measure the electromotive force. The three terminal resistor has resistance that is used to control the flow of the electric current. Out of the three terminals the two terminals are fixed and the one terminal is variable. The two fixed terminals are attached to the ends of a resistive element while the variable terminal is attached to the sliding wiper. This wiper moves around the resistive element and varies the potentiometer resistance. Depending on the resistive element either flat or angled, the wiper moves accordingly in a linear or rotary manner. Various materials are used to construct the resistive element of potentiometer that includes carbon particles in in plastic, resistive wires, cermets (mix of metals and ceramics) and graphite. The working principle of the potentiometer is based on the fact that the decrease in the potential in any portion of the wire is directly proportional to the length of the wire, provided that the wire has uniform cross section area and the consistent current flowing through it.
The major factor that drives the growth of the potentiometer is its accuracy to measure the potential difference between any two given points in a circuits. Also the potentiometer does not draws any current. Other parameters that boosts the growth of the potentiometer market are temperature stability, long operational life, and improved linearity. One of the restraining factor that restricts the growth of the global potentiometer market is the noise generated in the potentiometer. When the wiper moves along the linear or rotary path, the resistive element creates a noise called as fader scratch. Also the friction between the resistive element and the potentiometer causes the inertia. This inertia prevents the potentiometer being used as rotary sensor in some sensitive applications. However, the increasing demand by the users for the potentiometers in various electronic appliances such as computer and audio equipment, will enable the manufacturers to develop and design the technology in the existing potentiometer thereby helping to grow the global potentiometer market.
Potentiometer market is segmented into type, technology, application, industry, and geography. On the basis of type, the potentiometer market is segmented into linear potentiometers and rotary potentiometers. Based on technology, the potentiometer market is segmented into analog potentiometer and digital potentiometer (or DigiPOT). On the basis of applications, the global potentiometer market is segmented into audio equipment, computers, televisions, measuring devices, tuners & calibrators. On the basis of industry, the global potentiometer market is segmented into consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace & defense, healthcare, industrial and others. The global potentiometer market is also segmented on the basis of regions into North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to dominate the market. This is due to the already developed technology advancement in the North America. Asia Pacific is anticipated to show noteworthy development in the potentiometer market in the coming years due to the growing number of consumer electronics and automobiles. This growth in Asia Pacific can be seen due to the emerging economies such as China, India and Japan.
Some of the major players in global potentiometer market are TE Connectivity, BEI Sensors, Texas Instruments Incorporated, SEMIP, Positek Limited, TT Electronics Plc, CTS Corporation, Sensor Control Nordic AB, Analog Devices Inc and Alps Electric Co. Ltd. among others.
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