JECED and the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative have produced two documents intended to help manufacturers reduce the risk of tin whiskers growing on lead-free products. JESD201 and JP2002 (developed with IPC) set out strategies to help reduce the occurrence of tin whiskers. Researchers conceded that these are mitigation strategies and that "it is not possible to guarantee that tin whiskers will not grow under field conditions."
This is tough news for manufacturers in the industries such as defense, aerospace and medical equipment, which are exempt from the RoHS lead-free laws. The exempt industries are now forced to choose between risking tin whiskers — and potential product failure — or redesigning their products with pricey high-reliability components.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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