Standard Of Excellence: The Products of the Future

Written by: Anaya Vardya on September 19, 2023

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In my last column, I discussed cutting-edge innovations in printed circuit board technology, focusing on innovative trends in ultra HDI, embedded passives and components, green PCBs, and advanced substrate materials.

This month, I’m following up with the products these new PCB technologies are destined for. Why do we need all these new technologies?

Personally, this is the most exciting time in the history of printed circuit board technology and the products they are used for. This is a time when we are facing challenges from our customers like never before and we must do our very best to keep up with the needs of companies building products of the future.

Here are some of those products:

Blockchain technology: The sharing of information through the interconnectivity of many computers in a way that ensures security, transparency, and immutability. Blockchain allows the sale and cooperative exchange of information as it is developed. It reduces the need for intermediaries and allows for direct and instant communication. This blockchain technology was one of the strongest components in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, many of the end product technologies mentioned in this column were great contributors to the impressively rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Quantum computing: Quantum computers have the potential to solve complete problems that are practically unsolvable by classical computers. As the technology matures, it will revolutionize fields like cryptography, drug discovery, and materials science.

AI and machine learning hardware: Specialized hardware, such as GPUs and TPUs, is becoming increasingly important. As AI advances, we can expect more energy-efficient and powerful hardware AI applications. As those of us in the PCB fabrication know only too well, we already have new equipment with AI capabilities in our facilities today.

5G and beyond: The rollout of 5G networks is just the beginning. Technologies like 6G promise even faster data transfer rates, lower latency, and expanded use cases, including augmented reality and, most impressive, smart cities.

IoT (Internet of Things): The number of connected devices is expected to explode in the coming years. This will lead to smarter homes, cities, and industries with implications for data management, security, and privacy. This is another new and rising technology that contributed to the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Flexible and wearable electronics: Flexible displays, sensors, and wearable technology are advancing rapidly. This is leading to more comfortable and integrated technologies in devices such as smart clothing and flexible screens.

Energy-efficient electronics: With the growing focus on sustainability, electronics are becoming much more energy efficient. This includes low-power processors for IoT devices and more efficient batteries and energy storage solutions.

Biotechnology integration: Electronics are increasingly being integrated with biological systems. This includes wearable health devices, brain-computer interfaces, and bioelectronic medicine.

Autonomous systems: Autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots are becoming more capable and widespread. These technologies will have a significant impact on transportation, agriculture, and logistics.

Advanced materials: The development of new materials, like graphene and 2D materials, will enable smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronic components.

Cybersecurity: With the increasing interconnectedness of devices, cybersecurity becomes even more critical. New technologies and strategies for securing electronics and data will continue to evolve.

These trends and technologies represent the evolving landscape of electronics, and have the potential to reshape industries, improve our daily lives, and create new opportunities and challenges ahead. They are shaping the future by addressing various global challenges, improving efficiencies, and creating new opportunities across multiple sectors. Their continued development and integration into various industries will have a profound impact on our daily lives and the global economy.

Actually, many of the technologies I have mentioned are already here in our own manufacturing factories, helping us fabricate these end products. Isn’t it interesting that we are producing products for the end products that are helping us to produce those very products. It’s a kind of industrial, mechanical, and technological circle of life.

These new products are only the beginning of our age of innovation. I find it most interesting and encouraging that almost all these new technologies are encouraging and enabling people from all over the world to come together and work synergistically on new products. This is terribly important in these times where governments themselves seem to be focused on building silos and walls. Their people are more interested and focused in developing these new technologies that are based on borderless cooperation and collaboration.

Anaya Vardya is president and CEO of American Standard Circuits; co-author of The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Fundamentals of RF/Microwave PCBs and Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals. He is the author of Thermal Management: A Fabricator's Perspective and The Companion Guide to Flex and Rigid-Flex Fundamentals. Visit to download these and other free, educational titles.  

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