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16 The PCB Magazine • July 2014 Abstract The embedding of components in electron- ic interconnection structures has been carried out for more than 30 years, and while different technologies have developed and were techni- cally successful, history has shown that these embedding developments did not result in a sustainable success over a longer period of time. Replacement technologies have been developed after a short period of time by the so-called "Not in Kind" (NiK) technologies (e.g., inorganic = not in kind, organic = in kind). This article will explain what is needed to avoid technology pitfalls that lead to future business failures. In addition, opportunities are discussed that enable development managers, design engi- neers and specialists to use the full benefits of embedding devices in automotive, medical and industrial applications. These enabling manu- facturing technologies will offer the opportu- nity to develop innovative product solutions in critical technical, environmental and business situations. Introduction The number of PCB fabricators in Europe has declined over the last 20 years to less than 25% of what it was at the end of the 1980s. Today, Europe has little more than 250 PCB fabricators with a turnover of about US$2.7 billion [1] . Large companies like Siemens, Philips, Alcatel and IBM closed their in-house PCB manufacturing plants long ago. For the remaining PCB compa- nies in Europe the strategy is more focused on survival, with growth as a near-goal objective. Under these circumstances, innovation is a ma- jor part of the survival strategy. To stay in busi- ness today, it is important to understand what field of business the company is operating in and what are the means necessary to differenti- ate your company from other sup pliers, wher- by Michael Weinhold eiPc technical director Device Embedding in PCBs: Evolution or Revolution? F e a t u r e

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