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JANUARY 2023 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 43 process to get mirrored into substrate and packaging design, but I'm confident it will happen. is process is simply too big an enabler of advanced products at smaller scales to be ignored by the semiconductor industry, the big electronics distributors, and ECAD vendors. Looking to the Future I expect to see more of the direct electromag- netics simulation integrations and system-level EDA features appear in ECAD soware, con- tinuing the trend we've already seen in recent years. Products from vendors like Keysight, Ansys, and others all play well with ECAD soware, either through direct integration or a simple file export. e same goes for products like PTC Creo, Solidworks, and Autodesk, all of which have mechanisms to directly pass data with various ECAD platforms. References 1. "The Great Divide in PCB Simulation Software," by Zachariah Peterson, Design007 Magazine, July 2022. Zachariah Peterson is the founder of Northwest Engineering Systems and a consultant for Altium. A soft and flexible electronic "e-skin," so sensi- tive it can detect the minute temperature difference between an inhaled and an exhaled breath, could form the basis of a new form of on-skin biosensor. The ultrathin material is also sensitive to touch and body motion, suggesting a wide array of potential applications. "The skin plays a vital role in our interactions with the world," says Vincent Tung from KAUST, who led the work. "Recreating its properties in an e-skin could have profound implications for wear- able electronics, as well as for sensory prosthetics, soft robotics and human-machine interfaces," he says. Despite considerable research effort, however, it has been very challenging to create suitable materials, which must be strong and highly sensitive, yet imper- ceptible when applied to the skin. A carbon nanomaterial called hydrogen-substituted graphdiyne (HsGDY) could be ideal for the task, Tung and his collaborators have shown. This two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms has similarities to graphene in its strength and electrical conductiv- ity, but also has key differences, Tung notes. The team were able to show what the theory had predicted: the resulting material was highly twist- able, stretchable and mechanically durable. "At around 18 nanometers thick, our e-skin is a fraction of the thickness of human skin, enabling conformal contact and long-term adhesion to the body with maximum flexibility and comfort," Tung says. The material's island-bridge atomic structure not only contributes to HsGDY's soft and flexible nature but is also key to its electronic properties, Tung adds. (Source: KAUST) Soft Touch Sensitivity

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