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PCBD-Jan2016

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16 The PCB Design Magazine • January 2016 surement techniques, and sensors and combine them into a single "tricorder-y" thing, we're going to be developing new ones. So there's going to be this trajectory of technology and modalities slowly converging and combining, with new ones springing up and living on their own until that technology is combined up into a multipurpose device. Along that trajectory, there is more and more call to connect in a digital health way. Even if you can't jam the physical elements together into the same package right away, you can at least jam the data together. And that's happing all over the place. Think Fluoroscope data with patient physical data with surgical navigation being jammed together to allow the doctor to provide better care. Eventually the modalities that generated the information will also com- bine. Shaughnessy: people seem to be living longer. do you think the medical segment will continue to grow? MacCallum: As you live longer your medical requirements increase. The medical segment will definitely continue to grow. There's a big push (especially in the U.S.) to make care less expensive. The effort is relying quite heavily on technology. They want to do the same types of treatments and diagnoses cheaper and faster. The technology required for those purposes must grow to meet that need or we're going to stop living longer. Shaughnessy: thanks for the information, Ken- neth. MacCallum: Thank you. PCBDESIgN MEDICAL PCB DESIgN: NoT JuST ANoTHER HIgH-REL BoARD From their use in telecommunication to detect- ing hazardous chemicals, lasers play a major role in our everyday lives. now a northwestern engineer- ing team has made this ever-important tool even simpler and more versatile by integrating a mid- infrared tunable laser with an on-chip amplifier. This breakthrough allows adjustable wavelength output, modulators, and amplifiers to be held in - side a single package. With this architecture, the laser has demon- strated an order-of-magnitude more output power than its predecessors, and the tuning range has been enhanced by more than a factor of two. "We have always been leaders in high-power and high-efficiency lasers," said Manijeh razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of electrical engineering and Computer Science, who led the study. "Com - bining an electrically tun- able wavelength with high power output was the next logical extension." Supported by the De - partment of Homeland Security Science and Tech- nology Directorate, national Science Foundation, naval Air Systems Command, and nASA, the re- search is described in a paper published online on December 21, 2015 in the journal Applied Physics letters. With mid-infrared spectroscopy, a chemical can be identified through its unique absorption spec - trum. This greatly interests government agencies that aim to detect hazardous chemicals or possible explosive threats. Because razeghi's new system is highly directional, the high power can be used more efficiently, allowing for the greater ability to detect chemicals. It also allows for standoff appli - cation, which keeps personnel physically distant from potentially dangerous environments. The technology could also benefit free-space optical communications and aircraft protection. "We demonstrated the first continuously tun - able, continuous opera- tion, mid-infrared lasers with electrical tuning of the emission wavelength," razeghi said. "This initial demonstration was very exciting, and continuing developing has led us to a number of new projects." Single-Chip Laser Delivers Powerful Result feature interview

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