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PCBD-Feb2017

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10 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2017 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 17 years. He can be reached by clicking here. every single tech news item, we might miss out on innovative new products and systems that can make our lives healthier, more productive, or just more fun. The following are just a few of the innova- tions we've seen in the last few years: • Google and Tesla made self-driving cars a reality. Google did so with a splash, but Tesla went under the radar with a software upgrade. The Autopilot update included a steering feature which allowed drivers to sit in the passenger seat, hands-free, and scare the hell out of all of the other driv- ers on the road. One Tesla driver posted a video of himself riding on the roof of his Tesla as it navigated through traffic. • Robots are not only moving toward artifi- cial intelligence—they're learning to teach other robots. And they can teach other robots faster and better than humans can. Some swimming robots are now transpar- ent, made up primarily of water and cov- ered in a rubbery gel. • Scientists have mounted tiny backpacks on dragonflies, hoping to eventually con- trol their flight patterns and create a tiny air force that could launch tiny missiles at our enemies. (OK, I made up the last part. But it's clearly not out of the question.) • Doctors used genetically engineered im- mune cells to save dying cancer patients. Is this the beginning of the end of cancer? • Researchers used genome editing to create fungus-resistant wheat. Can they eventu- ally engineer plants with traits such as drought and disease tolerance? • Now we can talk to our TV, and ask it what our schedule looks like for tomorrow night. My new laptop has voice-operated everything. All of this would have been considered pie- in-the-sky nonsense a decade ago. But this is nothing like what the next decade, or the next century, will bring. As futurist Ray Kurzweil once explained, "An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense 'intuitive linear' view. So we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate)." This month, for our New Technology issue, I asked our contributors to discuss new tech- nology that they were excited about. Douglas Brooks, PhD, discusses a variety of experiments conducted with the Thermal Risk Manage- ment (TRM) tool developed by his partner Dr. Johannes Adam, including exploring the tem- perature in the barrel of a via, thermal profiles around right angles, and current density at each point on a trace. Columnist Barry Olney of In-Circuit Design explains how his compa - ny's iCD Design Integrity platform can make PCB designers much more productive. Dingru Xiao of Cadence Design Systems discusses some new tool options that combine the functions needed by power integrity engineers and PCB designers in one integrated environment. And Columnist Tim Haag of Intercept Technology wonders if, and when, PCB designers will ever be able to design boards by interacting with a hologram, just like the one in the first "Iron Man" movie. We're happy to welcome back Joe Fjelstad, whose column espouses the benefits of the standard grid pitch for PCB design. Columnist Alistair Little of Electrolube explains how to select the perfect resin for your PCB. And Dick Crowe of Burkle USA offers his review of NAMM 2017, the National Association of Music Mer- chants show that draws tens of thousands of musicians and music retailers to Anaheim, Cali- fornia each year. We're all getting ready for IPC APEX EXPO and the Design Forum in San Diego. If you're at APEX, stop by our booth. If you can't make it, we'll have plenty of video coverage of the show, from start to finish. I hope to see you in San Diego. And don't be a Luddite! PCBDESIGN ARE YOU A LUDDITE?

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