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Design007-Apr2018

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40 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 radars going into the millimeter wave, prod- ucts for 5G applications, products for cell phone applications, and for the EV revolution, because the electrical vehicles are taking over. A lot of governments have made commitments, like in China and Europe, and most of these cars will require a lot of fast charging stations, which, again, puts a huge demand on the material itself; these stations will be push- ing electrical current at very high voltages through materi- als that must withstand these voltages without dielectric breakdown. What is a problem for the industry is an opportunity for us, so we're trying to cre- ate materials that can withstand these high stresses and enable the use of these technolo- gies. We're very excited about this. The same thing is happening out there in the space industry, requiring materials which are lighter, faster, and more durable. Shaughnessy: It seems like electric and autono- mous vehicles would use more heavy copper. Amla: Yes. There's going to be a heavy copper, but there are also technologies where people are learning to do more with less, so that's been the theme so far. When the high-speed digital revolution started, copper was supposed to be able to stand only five gigabits per second, and now we're approaching 112 Gbps. The same thing is happening here; where they needed six and 12 oz. copper, people have innovated and started using 3 oz. copper instead. That's happening. Shaughnessy: Where are your customers, pri- marily? Amla: Most of the end-users continue to be in the Western Hemisphere. They are still in the United States and are driving a lot of growth. The technology, such as AI and machine learn - ing, are going to drive needs for huge amounts of sensors and the IoT type of infrastructure, and to get there, you need new materials. So the end-product is going to be for the West - ern market, but, as far as 5G is concerned, that's a global phenomenon. It's going to happen everywhere. Yes, there are China-centric prod - ucts, but it's a global thing. You're going to see that, and in fact it's going to drive more local content because I can't foresee these systems being built in China for let's say road infrastructure in the U.S. It'll have to be sourced locally. I don't know whether U.S. and Europe have the infrastructure for that or not. Shaughnessy: What do you think is driving the materials market right now? Amla: The cloud is happening. AI/machine learning, that's driving, again, the need for high-speed systems, supercomputing, and data crunching. Now what you're seeing is even mom-and-pop shops are going in for analysis of their data, and they're requiring systems which are almost at the supercomputer level. There's going to be a lot of that, so that's one of the hottest sectors. Automotive is another one, and then we are seeing some new tech- nologies emerge on the 5G side with millime- ter waves. 5G means a step change in wireless data rates, which, when it is implemented, will create demand for products and services that don't exist yet, because the enabling technol- ogy is not there. I think, other than that, it's basically the trend that the regular electronics industry is, again, moving forward. It's con- tinuing its march, especially on the smartphone and mobility side. You're seeing an increase in price of the products, which is a phenomenon that hasn't happened across the industry for a long time. This is good news, so people want more functionality and they're willing to pay for it. Tarun Amla

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