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PCB007-Oct2020

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20 PCB007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2020 some business shifts that will have as great an impact on our industry as upcoming techno- logical advances. The global marketplace is changing. How much or how drastically it will change remains to be seen. But let me share one scenario that I feel is likely. A great degree of distrust has risen up between countries and regions (e.g., Brexit and various tariff disputes). This unrest and distrust likely will result in more region- al and national approaches to the building of electronics. What might this look like? As more regional resiliency is desired, at a minimum, I expect a deeper expectation from the large component distributors to have more vast stores available regionally. A more costly approach also may be to create a local version of the total supply chain, so if something breaks down with a partner, lo- cal options could be expanded as required. Given the tensions between nations, I expect this regional trend to last through the 2020s. After some time has passed and trust has been developed or enforced, the costliness of a heavy regional and local approach to manufacturing will become less tolerable, and a purer global- ized supply chain will begin to advance once more. As a global association, we work close- ly with our international partners to maintain awareness of international events that affect the electronics industry. As I mentioned earlier, the danger of predict- ing the future is that there are so many vari- ables to consider. Think back to just last year. Those who thought 2020 would have the eco- nomic performance we've seen would have likely pointed to a tariff war or perhaps even ac- tual war as the impetus that might cause such a shift. I don't know of anyone who predicted that we should watch out for a killer virus. Because none of us can see into the future, we need a deep knowledge of our own indus- try, how it changes so rapidly, and how it re- flects the upheaval in the world. When holding a roadmap that points to excessive change and disruption, we can more easily deal with those difficult situations as they arise. PCB007 Dr. John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC. To read past columns or contact him, click here. How do you keep the world's tiniest soda cold? UCLA scientists may have the answer. A team led by UCLA physics professor Chris Regan has succeeded in creating thermoelectric coolers that are only 100 nanometers thick—roughly one ten-millionth of a meter—and have developed an innovative new tech- nique for measuring their cooling performance. "We have made the world's smallest refrigerator," said Regan, the lead author of a paper on the research pub- lished recently in the journal ACS Nano. To be clear, these minuscule devices aren't refrigera- tors in the everyday sense—there are no doors or crisp- er drawers. But at larger scales, the same technology is used to cool computers and other electronic devices, to regulate the temperature in fiber-optic networks, and to reduce image "noise" in high-end telescopes and digital cameras. Made by sandwiching two different semiconductors between metalized plates, these devices work in two ways. When heat is applied, one side becomes hot, and the other remains cool; that temperature difference can be used to generate electricity. The scientific instruments on NASA's Voyager spacecraft, for instance, have been powered for 40 years by electricity from thermoelectric devices wrapped around heat-producing plutonium. In the future, similar devices might be used to help capture heat from your car's exhaust to power its air conditioner. But that process can also be run in reverse. When an electrical current is applied to the device, one side be- comes hot and the other cold, enabling it to serve as a cooler or refrigerator. This technology scaled up might one day replace the vapor-compression system in your fridge and keep your real-life soda frosty. (Source: UCLA) UCLA Scientists Create World's Smallest 'Refrigerator'

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