Martin CottonHow smoother surfaces and rounder edges help keep us all safer and more connected.

Making the impossible possible with advanced technology is a frequently recurring theme in advertising today. It seems the wider world has finally “got” science; well-known high-tech brands are comfortable explaining how their technologies are enabling new and fantastic smartphone features, more immersive gaming and TV viewing experiences, safer more relaxing travel in our increasingly autonomous vehicles, among others.

Of course, we in the electronics industry are intimately familiar with the underlying innovations enabling these previously unimaginable new experiences. As digital computing capabilities advance at the speed of Moore’s Law – or, in some cases, even faster – system capabilities are making incredible gains, while at the same time physical size, power consumption and cost are reduced, resulting in new generations of products at once more user-friendly and affordable.

Read more: Engineering Multi-GHz Systems is Driving Design to Deeper Levels

Martin CottonA substrate’s thermal performance influences die cooling, and hence the lifetime of solid-state lighting.

Legislation and environmental concerns are prompting a mass switch to newer equipment and appliances. The rapid growth of solid-state lighting is just one example. In Europe and North America, eco laws have consigned incandescent bulbs to history. LED lighting has taken over, mainly by realizing high-performing lighting at far lower power levels.

Prices for LED replacement lamps are dropping, but remain higher than traditional incandescent bulbs. The power consumption is lower, of course, and that’s the main point, but their greater longevity is needed to offset the price premium in buyers’ minds. LED bulbs potentially can last the lifetime of the light fitting, eliminating the cost and inconvenience of replacing failed units.

Read more: Why LED Longevity is Tied to Substrate Choice

Martin CottonMinimizing CTE via insulated metal substrates.

Today’s automotive industry is going through a period of rapid and significant technical change. People get so much from their cars – mobility, freedom of expression, social opportunities, pure excitement – and will not give up these privileges and pleasures easily. So carmakers are rapidly adopting electronic technologies to overcome valid social concerns, such as environment and safety, while at the same time intensifying the benefits for their customers.

On the other hand, large automotive corporations are historically renowned for their conservative behavior. The huge investment needed to get a new model into showrooms means they cannot risk getting too far ahead of the market. But all this could be changing, as the major manufacturers seek to tempt customers with more advanced electronic gadgetry. They know this is vital, both to meet legislative demands and to satisfy consumers who have become accustomed to fast-moving markets for products like mobiles, tablets and smart-home gear. Huge demands to raise performance and lower price, which are always present in the automotive industry, are sure to force the electronics industry to turn around quickly with new and innovative solutions. We could see significant progress in areas like thermal management, for example.

Read more: Drivers’ Demands for Coolest High-Tech Transforming Car Industry
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