We've been hearing for years that FR4 is dead, but it's the gift that just keeps on giving. Why? Because engineers keep finding ways to get enough signal integrity out of it and avoud going to more expensive laminates. Thins the pre-emphasis, smarter PCB design, and better simulation tools have let that happen. Plus, not everyone needs the highest data rates. It's really just at the data centers and server farms. the rest of us can ive with 1Gbps and even slower. Case in point, a tutorial on jitter at DesginCon was attended by over 200 people. There were plenty of people at DesginCon who are now just trying fr figure out how to design for 10Gbps.
Seems to me if someone could invent and patent an FR4 replacement that was cost effective they could make profits as large as some countries' GDP. What we need is one of these new materials to also be more effective at insulating homes or going into auto bodies to get manufacturing volumes up and unit cost down. Has EE Times published any articles on who's driving research in this area?
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.