Too Many, Too Few Rare Earths


A team from Japan recently made a major discovery—they found massive deposits of rare earths on the ocean floor off the coast of Japan. The team of Waseda University, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) found a deposit that equates to 16 million tons of rare earths. Rare earths are a group of critical materials used in various ele... » read more

Europe’s New R&D Program


European Union (EU) research, development and innovation programs have proved successful in recent decades. The current framework program (FP) Horizon 2020, with its 80 billion EUR total budget – around 17 billion EUR of which is allocated for Industrial Leadership – has produced unparalleled collaboration opportunities that no single European country can match on its own. FPs are strate... » read more

Privacy Is In Retreat


It was always a given that when you were online, you're in public. The deceptive piece is that your online activities can appear very distant from your physical location. You might be shopping from the comfort and seeming privacy of your living room, or texting on your smart phone before you get out of bed. This created a lot of buzz initially, but over the past year or so the level of paran... » read more

Metal Markets In Flux


Markets for critical metals are becoming turbulent, creating shortages and widespread supply chain concerns. Critical metals are the raw elements and materials used in the production of aerospace/defense systems, automobiles, batteries, computers and electronic products. Many critical metals also are scarce, and there is high risk associated with their supply. In a recent report, the Europea... » read more

Get Ready For In-Mold Electronics


Imagine inserting the electronics into a product without using a printed circuit board, a module, or even a system-in-package. That's the promise of in-mold electronics (IME), a technology that has been around for years, but which is just beginning to see wider adoption. The technology is related to conductive inks and transparent conductive films. The IME manufacturing process is said to pr... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 17


GOOI FETs The next-generation power semiconductor market is heating up. Two wide-bandgap technologies—gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon devices and silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs—are ramping up in the power semi market. In addition, the industry is also exploring various futuristic technologies, such as bulk vertical GaN, diamond FETs and others. Purdue University has demonstrated another... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 3


World’s fastest phototransistor The University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed what the university claims is the world’s fastest and most responsive flexible silicon phototransistor. Phototransistors are semiconductor light sensors. They are based on a transistor with a transparent cover. They provide better sensitivity than a photodiode. The futuristic phototransistor from the Un... » read more

EU Due Diligence For Conflict Minerals Focuses Upstream, For Now


By Rania Georgoutsakou EU proposed legislation on responsible sourcing of ‘conflict minerals’, published on 5 March 2014, will create a voluntary scheme focusing on upstream suppliers that should help downstream users get the information they need to comply with the U.S. Dodd Frank Act. The EU proposals largely address concerns raised by SEMI and other industry associations, but things cou... » read more