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12 SMT Magazine • January 2015 Structural electronics (SE) is one of the most important technological developments of this century. It forms a key part of the dream, first formulated thirty years ago, of computing dis- appearing into the fabric of society. It also ad- dresses, in a particularly elegant manner, the dream of Edison in 1880 that electricity should be made where it is needed. SE is often biomi- metic: It usefully imitates nature in ways not previously feasible. An example of this is pro- viding an aircraft or a car something resembling a human nervous system. The new IDTechEx re- port, Structural Electronics 2015–2025, sees this market climbing strongly to nearly $90 billion by Dr. Peter Harrop IDTEcHEx The Rise of Structural Electronics in 2025, with the aerospace and automotive sectors particularly important adopters. Structural electronics effectively takes no space because it is integrated into something already there, achieving this by adding little if any weight increase to the integrated structure. However, the design rules change as we move from component selection and circuit design to functional design. Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and circuits that act as load-bearing, protective structures, re- placing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally placed upon them. The com- mon factor is that both load-bearing and smart skin formats occupy only unwanted space. The electronics and electrics effectively have no vol- Feature

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