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26 SMT Magazine • January 2017 chine and process has just one point of data collection. OML allows the use of that data by many different Smart applications simultane- ously. Smart Traceability The use of data flowing in an automated way from processes provides almost all of the required data for traceability, at any level. It is analogous to the video feed from our cam- era, with every aspect of the picture included. It means that the cost of traceability can actu- ally become negative. Instead of having addi- tional operations to gather, qualify, and cata- log traceability data, the whole process can be automated in a way that is synergistic with the Smart factory operation. Having this "video" record of all the events, the full potential of traceability data can be realized, which brings opportunity of the highest level of active quali - ty management, as well as full control over any issues that may occur. Bringing these elements of Smart technology together, whatever the pri- ority or approach, the effective common Smart or Digital Factory platform brings all of the el- ements together for full traceability as defined by IPC-1782. SMT References 1. IPC-1782 can be purchased by clicking here. 2. The OML Community website is at www. Michael Ford is senior marketing development manager with Men- tor Graphics Corporation Valor di- vision. To read past columns, or to contact the author, click here. SMART FOR SMART'S SAKE, PART 3: UNIFICATION & TRACEABILITY Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown it's pos- sible to make transistors and di- odes from advanced semicon- ductor materials that could per- form much better than silicon. The breakthrough work takes a step toward more compact and efficient power electronics, which in turn could improve ev- erything from consumer electronics to electrical grids. The research was published this summer in Applied Physics Letters and Electronics Letters and presented at conferences. "The goal is to be able to shrink power sup- plies, power conversion systems," said electrical engineer Bob Kaplar, who leads a Laboratory Di- rected Research and Development project study- ing ultrawide bandgap (UWBG) semiconduc- tor materials. The project explores ways to grow those materials with fewer defects and create dif- ferent device designs that exploit the properties of these new materials. The project is laying the scientific groundwork for the new UWBG research area, answering such questions as how the materials behave and how to work with them. It also will aid Sandia's broader work through developments, such as compact power con- version by using better semi- conductor devices. Sandia researchers demon- strated the highest-bandgap transistor ever, a high electron mobility transistor, and published those results in the July 18 edition of Applied Physics Let- ters. Sandia published papers in June and July in Electronics Letters analyzing the performance of diodes made from gallium nitride (GaN) and alu- minum gallium nitride (AlGaN). "All three of these papers represent progress on the road to more compact and higher-efficiency power converters," Kaplar said. However, he cau- tioned that the work doesn't mean UWBG devices are ready for the marketplace. "There are a lot more improvements that need to be made to the transistor," he said. Honey, I Shrunk the Circuit

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