What are they afraid of, indeed. There is plenty to be cautious of, and screening email domains is only about as effective as skeleton key lock.
More specifically, I am surprised that the detailed process of reverse engineering is being openly shared at all.
Initially, engineering details and processes ought to be closely guarded. Industrial intelligence is a big issue, and as the article states, its familiar territory to patent attorneys regarding infringement and detection.
Contrary and oppositional to that is the reverse engineering process. In this article, examples of very sophisticated methods and procedures used to discover that which often remains undetected, unless very advanced methods are used to determine such specific design intents.
Those very methods of determination ought to circle back 180° to the initial point; these are engineering secrets in and of themselves that ought to remain closely guarded.
UBM's decision to openly share their discoveries is a step towards a very open-source society of design engineers, but I can only imagine the angst it brings to those companies whose secrets are being publicized.
Just an FYI, I went to download the webinar and it didn't like my email address - I got this message:
Please input a valid email address from a non-free provider.
My provider is "non-free" in that I do pay for it - it's not a yahoo or hotmail account, so I am puzzled as to why it doesn't like it or even why it makes a distinction...so unfortunately I can't access the webinar.
That said - fascinating topic! I remember in my product engineering days at Dallas Semiconductor - back in 1990 I got to participate in some failure analysis at the chip level. If I recall correctly, we used an electron microscope and we isolated some transistors on a chip by zapping lines with lasers - very fun stuff! There is something fascinating about working at that level - I usually worked with discretes but once in a while we would work with a wafer or chip. I remember picking up a wafer with the suction tool. I was fine until my boss commented that I was holding about ten thousand dollars in my hand!
In the old days failure analysis procedures were less formal. i remember an old FA guy showing me how to get to the chip on a ram I needed to open up and look at. It looked like a mad scientist laboratory with a beaker of acid smoking under the vent-a-hood. He had a fixture to use with the acid and the idea was to hold it to the top of the part until it ate away enough to expose the chip. I asked him how he knew it was time to remove the fixture and his reply was - until its too hot for you to hold any more!
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Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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