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50 SMT Magazine • December 2014 IT infrastructure, according to IHS iSuppli. Re- portsnReports sees electronics reaching US$321 billion in 2018, with CAGRs in double-digits in major geographies, driven by semiconductor equipment, process control instrumentation, and automation systems. Similarly, the Internet of Things (IoT) will usher in major technological breakthroughs and will increase the number of connected mobile devices per person from 1.8 in 2010 to above 6 in 2020, according to PwC International Ltd. The possibilities for EMS companies seem limitless, which implies that this is not the time for EMS players to slacken. On the contrary: The need to augment capabilities refined for the pro- duction of high-reliability, enterprise-class prod- ucts remains extremely critical. While bench- marking against peers remains good practice, EMS companies have historically transformed at different rates into diverse fields. Thus it is arguably more important for EMS companies to understand the needs of their respective OEM customers and the unserved markets, leverage their strengths and enhance capabilities, and creatively venture into new solutions that may or may not be within the EMS realm, keeping in mind that it has to create value for the custom- ers and for itself. SmT FEATurE emS INdUSTrY: NO reLAxING NOW continues Frederick Blancas is senior division manager of strategic planning and marketing for Integrated Micro-electronics Inc. (iMi). Medical researchers would like to plant tiny electronic devices deep inside our bodies to monitor biological processes and deliver pin- point therapies to treat illness or relieve pain. But so far engineers have been unable to make such devices small and useful enough. providing electric power to medical implants has been one stumbling block. using wires or batter- ies to deliver power tends to make implants too big, too clumsy--or both. now, Stanford engineers are developing a way to send power—safely and wirelessly—to "smart chips" programmed to perform medical tasks and report back the results. Their approach in- volves beaming ultra- sound at a tiny device inside the body designed to do three things: Con- vert the incoming sound waves into electric- ity; process and execute medical commands; and report the completed activity via a tiny built-in radio antenna. "we think this will enable researchers to develop a new generation of tiny implants de- signed for a wide array of medical applications," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford. now Arbabian and his colleagues are collabo- rating with other researchers to develop sound- powered implants for a variety of medical ap- plications. The Stanford medical implant chip is pow- ered by "piezoelectricity," a word that means electricity caused by pressure. Arbabian's team wants to test many other applications using this basic technology to wirelessly power small im- plants deep inside the body. "Many biosensing and stimulation applica- tions require small, deep medical implants," he said. "we believe our platform provides the recipe for building small devices that can be pow- ered wirelessly and pro- grammed to perform a wide array of tasks." tiny, sound-powered Chip serves as Medical Device

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