SMT Magazine

SMT-Jan2015

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8 SMT Magazine • January 2015 lots of investment (the hype), to a collapse and consolidation and then to an established mar- ket. Gartner explains it better here. If you look at Figure 1, I'd say we're cur- rently on the Slope of Enlightenment, headed to the Plateau of Productivity. As I've espoused the virtues of PE technolo- gy and its potential to disrupt the PCB world as we know it, I've also been challenged by some of the industry's top professionals who believe I'm way overstating the potential impact on PCBs. Naka (Dr. Hayao Nakahara) has promised to roll a peanut with his nose from New York to San Francisco if the printed electronics in- dustry begins to displace a majority of the PCB industry. If you believe the Qualcomm survey results, then the good news is that Naka has 3–5 years to strengthen this arms and shoulders, A recent Qualcomm customer survey on the product development efforts around print- ed electronics determined the tipping for this technology is 3–5 years away. That message was part of a presentation given by a company exec during the IDTechEx printed electronics confer- ence last November in Silicon Valley. I pulled this definition off of Wikipedia: a tipping point is "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." I have been covering the printed electronics industry for over a decade. I've read plenty of forecasts pointing to an eminent explosion in low-cost electronics all centered on PE technol- ogies. I've also written in past columns about Gartner's Hype Cycle , which describes the path new technologies take as they move from con- cept to unrealistic market expectations with by ray rasmussen publiSheR, i-CoNNeCT007 THE Way I SEE IT Column The Tipping Point

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