Thermistors are resistors that are made of semiconductor material and their resistance varies significantly with temperature. Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistors, a type of themistors, are non-linear resistors that alter their resistance with temperature. NTC thermistor is a radial leaded disc that decreases its resistance as the temperature increases. The NTC thermistor is used for temperature control, measurement and compensation. The advantages of using NTC thermistor as compared to other temperature sensors include good electrical noise immunity, standard two wire connection system, extension of temperature range with special construction, availability of tight tolerances and many physical forms. The applications of NTC thermistors are categorized into zero power sensing applications and temperature measurement applications. In zero power sensing applications, the resistance versus temperature characteristic of NTC thermistor is utilized to sense temperature with little power being dissipated. The temperature measurement application of NTC thermistors is the common application and is used in low cost temperature measurement.
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The global NTC thermistor market is segmented on the basis of end-user applications as automotive, domestic appliances and industrial and consumer applications. The automotive applications include frost sensors, temperature detection of laser diode in CD players for cars, airbag electronic systems, air-conditioning systems, engine temperature control, transmission air temperature control and in-let air temperature control. The domestic appliances applications include air conditioning, central heating systems, washing machines and dish washers, cookers and deep-fat fryers and refrigerators and freezers. The industrial and consumer applications include video and audio equipment, ink-jet printer head temperature detection, fire alarms, process control, contrast control in flat LCD panel displays, camcorders and mobile phones, temperature protection in charging systems, battery management and heating and ventilation. The global NTC thermistors market revenue is majorly contributed by the industrial and consumer applications sector due to the rapid expansion of consumer electronics such as curved televisions.
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With the increase in the usage of digital electronics, the miniaturization of components in electronic devices has increased. This triggers the need to utilize a high precision thermistor to control the devices and be continuously monitored. Another factor that is contributing to the growth of this market is the emerging technologies in the field of consumer electronics such as flexible printed circuits. Flexible printed circuits allow inter-connecting electronic devices on a flexible plastic substrate like polyimide (PI), eliminating the need for building a device that fits the circuit board. NTC thermistor is preferred in such technologies for their efficiency in high-tech electronics without occupying much space. However, NTC thermistors are in the developing phase and their full potential is not yet fully explored. The rapid growth in the field of consumer electronics such as LEDs foresees a tremendous growth for NTC thermistors market.
The major players in this market are consistently introducing new products with innovative features to cater to the growing needs. For instance, Honeywell Sensing and Control, in April 2014, introduced unamplified pressure sensors that can be mounted on electronic boards providing high durability, flexibility and temperature sensitivity. The other players in the market are Betatherm Corporation, U.S. Sensor, Guangdong Tonze Electric Company Limited, Sinochip Electronics Company Limited, Quality Thermistor Inc, Panasonic Corporation, Ohizumi Manufacturing Company Limited, Murata Manufacturing Company Limited, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Maida Development Company, LATTRON Co., Ltd, KOA Corporation, Joyin Co Ltd, Huichang Sensor Co., Ltd and GE Sensing and Inspection Technologies.
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