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Looking Forward to the Next 70 Years

Nov. 1, 2022
We take a look forward and back at Electronic Design and the industry it covers.

This year marks the end of Electronic Design’s 70th anniversary, while 2023 is the launch of our next 70 years of covering the electronics industry. It’s been an amazing ride—I’ve had the chance to read about it in Electronic Design when I was a budding engineer and later as a programmer and finally as the editor.

Much has changed over the years in both the technology we cover as well as the way we do it. When it started, the idea of the internet was strictly science fiction and laying out a print issue took weeks. Video was film and color televisions were just starting out. Computers filled rooms.

Now everyone is making their own videos using smartphones that fold and fit in a pocket with resolutions that push the limits of the viewer. Forms of artificial intelligence (AI) have become ubiquitous, providing natural-language processing and support for self-driving cars. A single chip has more computing power than the entire world had decades ago.

We’ve been changing as well. Articles tend to be shorter, but we’ve been collecting and linking related content in our TechXchange and library with updates and additions that weren’t possible with a static print edition. Our sister publication, Microwaves & RF, is launching its bi-monthly digital edition with embedded video.

While many will marvel at the latest technology, it’s worth noting that even at its inception, the technology that Electronic Design was covering exceeded what one engineer or programmer could hope to understand or utilize. It continues to be a team effort that builds on existing technology to deliver new products as well as create new technology to exceed what’s currently available.

Yet, much remains useful from the past as evidenced by our Ideas for Design series. Power and analog technology is a mainstay in this series, where articles from decades ago are still relevant and useful even now. The interest in our archived evergreen content persists even as the search mechanisms on our site and the internet in general improve to help find that needle in the haystack.

We can only guess what will be available in 2092, assuming AI hasn’t taken over or global warming has shut everything down. Women and men have come up with amazing technologies and solutions to a host of problems and we can hope that this will continue. Though we’ve hit many limitations like raw clock speeds for processors, innovation keeps popping up in the most unexpected places.

In closing, I wanted to mention the passing of one of Electronic Design’s notable editors, Roger Allan. Roger was executive editor for 23 years and contributing editor for over 50 years. He kept us in line when managing the publication, while covering topics from transistor technology to MEMS. He will be missed.

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