You've both identified the critical question. Ferroelectric thin films have been able to move into production very easily for simple functions like RF substrates - folks like Matsushita, Panasonic use them regularly but don't talk about it. Nonvolatile memory, less successfully. Ramtron has had a decent specialty memory business for years, and has licensed tech to IBM, but it's never been at the right function and price point to challenge flash memory. Then, when we get to nano-structures for energy harvesting, well, you just upped the ante by ? factor of 5? factor of 10? I will bet that some ferro-nano amorphous technologies will emerge for solar PV cells, but there will be plenty of them that will never get out of the lab!
The bridge to high-volume production is a big one. It's amazing how much technology is fantastic on lab scale but not practical as a production material. It takes a ton of time, patience, money and conviction to get to the goal post.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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