Electronic Design

Silicon-In-Motion, Part II: Rugged Packages And Mobile Entertainment Enhance The Transportation Experience

Many of the technologies, although initially crafted for transportation systems, can also be applied to other consumer and industrial product areas.

We hope after reading Part I of our Silicon-In-Motion Technology Forecast in our January 8 issue, you have seen some of the impact that semiconductor technology has made in the world of transportation—improving fuel economy and safety at the same time as adding more intelligence to vehicles and the transportation infrastructures that support them. Still, there are many more areas in the transportation market to explore, as the articles and interviews in this second part to our Silicon-In-Motion theme will show.

In order for many of the ad-vanced semiconductors and components to work properly in harsh transportation en-vironments, rug-ged packaging and surface-mount technologies must be used. These technologies protect devices while minimizing the area that they consume behind the dashboard, in the engine compartment, or elsewhere in the car, plane, or other vehicle. Our Components and Packaging Technology Editor, David Morrison, explores rugged surface-mount components in his report on page 69, supplying an overview of key directions and technologies being applied to packaging solutions.

While we travel from place to place, vehicle entertainment systems are making the trip more enjoyable as we listen to multichannel audio, watch video, play games, and traverse the Internet. Yet even more pervasive and flexible entertainment and support systems lie on the horizon as our Convergence Technologies Editor, Steve Grossman, details in his report covering entertainment systems for cars, planes, and other modes of transportation on page 79. Grossman examines new technologies, such as digital radio broadcasting, digital video, Internet connectivity, and many other advances that will help us pass the time while we travel.

Supplementing the two reports in this issue are interviews with executives from a few of the key subsystem and component suppliers. These Q&As provide insights regarding the advanced semiconductor technologies and devices that will make possible the new convenience, safety, and entertainment features migrating into next-generation transportation systems. Delphi and Lear represent two of the major component and subsystem suppliers, while the interviews with Microchip Technologies and Motorola examine the challenges and accomplishments that semiconductor manufacturers are tackling to help the transportation industries move forward.

Many of the technologies, although initially crafted for transportation systems, can also be applied to other consumer and industrial product areas to make those products smaller and more cost-effective as well. We hope that you will find the articles as thought-provoking as we did.

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