The push to erase what's called the digital divide is moving forward quickly as computer makers and others bring out inexpensive PCs designed for school children in underdeveloped regions. Companies producing Intel's Classmate PC are ramping up for production, with an expected starting price somewhere between $200-300. The competitor to the One Laptop Per Child program employs a 900 MHz Celeron CPU, also offering wireless networking. A color screen and rugged design should help children in emerging markets compete with those growing up in regions where computers are commonplace.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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