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Electronics & Test
Top 12 Hot Design Technologies for 2012
12/8/2011

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Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
MEMS is really six or seven sub-domains, many of which have products with high growth numbers.   


They include: environmental sensors such as pressure and humidity sensors and silicon microphones; inertial sensors including accelerometers and gyroscopes; inkjets and microfluidics; microactuators including micromirror devices and displays; RF MEMS; micro-opto-electromechanical systems (MOEMS); bioelectronic probes and substrates.   

Shown in the picture is MEMSIC's no-moving-parts MEMS accelerometer, which uses a heater to raise the temperature of a central column of air, while thermocouples around the edge indicate acceleration as a change in temperature.
MEMS is really six or seven sub-domains, many of which have products with high growth numbers.

They include: environmental sensors such as pressure and humidity sensors and silicon microphones; inertial sensors including accelerometers and gyroscopes; inkjets and microfluidics; microactuators including micromirror devices and displays; RF MEMS; micro-opto-electromechanical systems (MOEMS); bioelectronic probes and substrates.

Shown in the picture is MEMSIC's no-moving-parts MEMS accelerometer, which uses a heater to raise the temperature of a central column of air, while thermocouples around the edge indicate acceleration as a change in temperature.

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Rob Spiegel
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Near Field Communications
Rob Spiegel   12/8/2011 1:16:14 PM
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The near field communications is an interesting technology. It's being tested in some markets. Quite of number of phone makers and financial companies are investing in it. Apple is lining up patents to use it at Apple stores.

Charles Murray
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Internet of Things
Charles Murray   12/8/2011 11:40:41 AM
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What a great, diverse of collection of technologies and applications. If I were a bettor, I'd put my money on the Internet of Things. It's doable and will have a lot of big, motivated players behind it. Even though it has great potential, I think it will emerge quietly, with many of us not even knowing its there.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: What a wealth of possibilities
Jennifer Campbell   12/8/2011 10:53:30 AM
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I am wondering the same thing about organic LEDs, Beth. Also, do organic LEDs have a similar lifespan of inorganic LEDs? Does one have advantages over the other? I'm definitely looking forward to learning more.

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: What a wealth of possibilities
Alexander Wolfe   12/8/2011 10:10:43 AM
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I'm struck by how closely the picks in this article written by our colleagues at EE Times dovetails with what we've been covering all year long here at Design News. So that says that we've been on the money, but more than that that these "hot" technologies are actually moving very quickly into the mainstream. For some, I see this and it's been obvious for a while (say, MEMs and photovoltaic cells). However, for others I'm a bit surprised to find the uptake might be quicker than I've been assuming. Here the key example is energy harvesting, which I guess is being goosed by its ROI.

Beth Stackpole
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What a wealth of possibilities
Beth Stackpole   12/8/2011 8:13:30 AM
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Great look ahead at some pretty amazing technologies that have the potential to dramatically change the landscape of how we work, live, and play--albeit, not necessarily in the 2012 timeframe. A couple of things stand out to me: The idea of plastic, hence biodegradeable, electronics seems like it could have some profound benefits long term given the heaps of disgarded equipment we see littering the landscapes of third-world nations. I'm also intrigued by the idea of organic LEDs. What makes an LED organic and what's the upshot of that?

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