In spite of the incredible advances in semiconductor integration levels, there are still numerous components that are not integrated. Passives are right at the top of that list. High value capacitors, low value resistors, and all sizes of inductors are very difficult to obtain in integrated circuit technology. This challenges manufacturers of these components to differentiate their products by meeting or exceeding the performance requirements of increasingly challenging application requirements. For example, in portable devices the size must shrink but the values cannot. In addition, the packaging for passive components must be compatible with the assembly technology used for the end product. In more and more instances, this dictates surface mount technology (SMT). Other requirements for passives are similar to those for all electronic circuitry, such as meeting regionally legislated requirements such as lead-free material per Directive 2002/95/EC for Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Coping with these requirements for inductors, resistors, and capacitors imposes greater cost challenges than other components.
This section includes some products that work intimately with semiconductors and ICs to simplify the ways that users can handle more difficult or delicate components. These ICs also improve the thermal conductivity to boost power-handling capability of power semiconductors and ICs. The capacitors, inductors, and resistors support trends of smaller size, higher power, and SMT assembly, many products targeting all three trends simultaneously.
In his keynote address at the RAPID 2015 conference last week, Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn gave an update on how far his company and co-development partner NASA have come in their quest to bring 3D printing to the space station -- and beyond.
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.