Showing posts for July 2019
22 July 2019
What is conductive Ink and How is it used?
Everyone has seen those videos that have people drawing circuits that work on materials such as paper or even textile! So what is that liquid paint that connects the circuits up? It is conductive ink! There has been a lot of hype over the years that it is the material of the future and will eventually replace traditional circuits.
Bare Conductive, a company based in London started by 4 students developed and have have been using this paint in different settings since 2009. After the paint was displayed at a student design conference in Eindhoven, interest from the public started to build. Soon, an email from Sony Music arrived saying they had an artist who wanted to use the paint in a music video. In the film, dancers' feet and hands were painted while they stood on a pad of the dried fluid, which was in turn connected to computers. The dancers became extensions of a circuit so that when their hands were slapped by the DJ Calvin Harris, various drums and beats would sound – a system dubbed a "humanthesizer".
So, how does this conductive ink work? Well, Conductive ink, as the name suggests, is a form of ink that can conduct electricity. Usually, the ink is infused with a conductive material, like graphite or silver, to enable electrical conduction.
Conductive ink is made by mixing tiny particles of conductive materials with non-conductive liquid mediums. The idea is to use a liquid medium that can flow relatively freely whilst building a chain of conductive materials behind it. Once the liquid medium dries, it should, in theory, lock the conductive particles (or inclusions) in place leaving a completed circuit.
Conductive inks have a variety of advantages over other existing solutions. One of the most important is that it can be easily customized to cater to a broad spectrum of industry requirements.
Conductive inks are a great option for e-textiles, as they can be applied after the main product has been produced without interfering with the textile production process at all.
Conductive ink can be used to repair circuits on printed circuit boards and can also be used in computer keyboards that contain membranes with printed circuits that can sense when a key is pressed.
Have you used conductive ink? Let us know what you did!
18 July 2019
ASML Overcome Memory Chip Weakness
With a global slowdown hurting them at the end of last year, then the China trade wars pushing them down again in May, then the Huawei ban, then Japan’s export restrictions against South Korea coming in to hurt them further, one would thing that ASML Holding, a Dutch company and currently the largest supplier of photolithography systems, would be feeling the squeeze, but their second-quarter report was better than expected, beating analyst estimates for earnings, the company predicts the memory business struggling for the rest of the year.
According to Yahoo Finance, ASML managed to grow revenue in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, largely due to an increase in revenue from installed base management, which includes service and field option sales. Installed base management sales also increased on a year-over-year basis, but that wasn't enough to prevent a decline in overall revenue from the prior-year period.
With oversupply in the memory-chip market leading some producers to slash plans for capital spending, companies that manufacture the equipment needed to make memory chips are facing weak demand for their products. Just last week another semiconductor company, Vishay, pre-announced June sales well below expectations, noting an inventory correction and pricing pressures.
Abhinav Davuluri, analyst at Morningstar, says investors are simply reflecting the belief that the semiconductor industry is only going to get bigger. “We don’t see things getting healthy until early 2020, but these end-markets are going to be more diverse,” he told me. “It’s not just the PC space, or the smartphone space. It’s cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, autos. These companies are bigger, there’s more consolidation, and they can better handle the peaks and troughs.”
While the memory business is struggling, the logic business is picking up most of the slack. ASML is seeing its logic customers accelerate the ramp of leading-edge nodes, particularly the 7-nanometer node. Advanced Micro Devices recently launched the first PC CPUs (central processing units) and consumer GPUs (graphics processing units) built on a 7nm manufacturing process, courtesy of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.
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