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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 Bill Gates once noted that innovation "re- quires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers…get their feedback, and understand their needs." One might say there are exceptions to Gates' perspective, but even some of the most protectionist of the famous inven- tors collaborated at some level—if only to build their innova- tions upon the prior work of oth- ers that was then shared. Dean Kamen's Segway product was an innovation kept under wraps during development, but the technology they used pulled heavily from existing capa- bilities. Thomas Edison, a famously secretive inventor, still had a staff of people throughout his career. I like to think of the famous feud between Edison and Tesla as one of the most dynamic public focus groups ever. The scientific community— and by extension, the engineering communi- ty—is built upon collaboration. There's a lot of talk lately in the electronic hardware side of the industry about chang- ing design constraints and the effect on ma- terial selection. OEMs are developing designs to meet new challenges in high-speed and low-loss applications and tolerance to envi- ronmental extremes. Designers are feeling that pressure to find solutions as well as fabrica- tors and materials manufacturers, who are the focus of this issue. So, how does one keep up to date? As Gates suggests, we talk. We see how materials stack up. We ask the experts about what's new, what we need to consider as we select a material for our current project, and who has what. We ask fabricators if they're familiar with the material we're considering. And we spoke with some of the key materials manufacturers—people in the know. First, we lay down some high-level per- spective on materials starting with Alun Morgan's take on the future of PCB materials. Next, columnist Tara Dunn writes about "New Materials or New to You?" Then, we have a conversation with Panasonic's Tony Senese on megatrends in materials. These three pieces deliver a panoramic primer on materials, op- Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 How Do Current Materials Stack Up?

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