The lousy economy has slowed the advent of many technologies, particularly optoelectronics and embedded passive components, according to the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative. NEMI (www.nemi.org) has revised its Road Map outward, saying that technology growth has been pushed out, but not significantly altered. Portable products remain hot, and they help drive the need for embedded passives and system-in-package techniques. Optoelectronics will see acceptance primarily in new SONET equipment, with autos and homes still seen as a long-term growth opportunity.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
Researchers have been developing a number of nano- and micro-scale technologies that can be used for implantable medical technology for the treatment of disease, diagnostics, prevention, and other health-related applications.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
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