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Globalization And Regionalization Of Knowledge

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Anyone who has clicked on the chat feature on virtual conferences may have noticed the striking mix of nationalities logging in. The explosion of these conferences, as well as video calls, has opened the door for engineers at all levels — from students to industry veterans — to exchange ideas on a global scale.

In the past, companies would send a handful of their employees to conferences to garner the latest industry advances and trouble spots, and they often would return after days of travel too tired to share their experiences with co-workers. That’s no longer the case. For the price of a couple employees’ travel, companies can afford to register dozens of their engineers at all levels. Moreover, students often can get free or reduced-cost access to the latest trends and developments, adding context and new possibilities for their research.

It’s far too early to measure the full impact of this trend, but the potential is enormous. The actual results will depend on a variety of factors, including how long the ongoing pandemic lasts before the industry is comfortable enough again to hold conferences, and after that how long it takes until companies are confident enough to send their workers. The coronavirus is just beginning to hit some parts of the world, and there is no herd immunity anywhere. In addition, the whole work-from-home movement has received mixed marks, depending upon the industry sector and company culture.

However, in the short term — and perhaps for much longer than that — the whole virtual conference circuit is spreading knowledge far beyond the normal radius for attendees. And it is making some conferences significantly more efficient because the conference sponsors don’t need to do regional conferences in addition to international ones unless there is a need to hold it in a different language or it needs to be targeted to a highly specialized audience. This, in turn, reduces the cost of hosting a conference, which in turn reduces the cost of putting one on.

It also puts pressure on conference organizers to deliver on good content, because attendees won’t waste their time on a bad presentation. It’s not always easy to get up in the middle of a panel or presentation, particularly when you’ve flown thousands of miles to attend. It’s quite simple to log off, or at least do something else, while someone delivers a product pitch that is off-topic.

The flip side of this is that because it’s relative cheap to put on a conference anywhere, that’s exactly what will happen. At this point, the critical masses for chips and system design are in the United States, Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan, which is where most of the conferences are being held. Companies from French-speaking countries in Africa, for example, attend shows like the Viva Technology conference in France rather than host their own. Although this still may be beneficial for companies looking for funding, they also can hold more regional conferences that target how technology can be used on a more regional basis, which can very different than in other parts of the world.

This is true for China, as well. As that country develops its own separate supply chain, particularly in the wake of a devastating trade war that has produced sporadic gaps in various technologies and materials, conferences may be much more tailored for the Chinese market and the growing Chinese sphere of influence.

Taken as a whole, the conference world may be headed for some radical changes, and those could have a pronounced impact on where and how people get details on the latest research and broad trends. And the longer the pandemic lasts, the more distinct the dividing line between how things were done in the past and how they will be done in the future.

Ed Sperling

Ed Sperling

  (all posts)
Ed Sperling is the editor in chief of Semiconductor Engineering.

Source: https://semiengineering.com/globalization-and-regionalization-of-knowledge/

Semiconductor

Emerging photovoltaics market to grow to $38bn in 2040

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3 July 2020

The market for emerging photovoltaics will grow to $38bn in 2040 without colliding with the silicon-in-glass ‘power station’ business, according forecasts in IDTechEx’s report ‘Materials Opportunities in Emerging Photovoltaics 2020-2040’.

There will be many opportunities for premium pricing of new specialist materials, the report notes. For example, over $10,000/W is currently paid for a record 30%-efficient lll-V compound semiconductor (PV) in a designer watch, as an array on a satellite, or on the surface of a high-altitude drone.

Another emerging PV technology, copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS), has recently shot to over $2bn sales in only ten years.

Most of the emerging PV technology is thin film, flexible and some will be stretchable, making possible many new markets, such as tightly rollable PVs in your mobile phone, regular aircraft skin, billions of Internet of Things nodes etc.

Hundreds of millions more building facades need such lightweight PVs, says IDTechEx chairman Dr Peter Harrop. Also, triple-efficiency indoor III-V PV is newly on sale, to be followed by underwater applications. Researchers are even targeting three types of technology for PV paint. Vehicle retrofit from boats to buses… this list goes on and on, adds Harrop. (Those interested in radically new formats for electronics and electrics in general can refer to IDTechEx’s report ‘Electronics Reshaped 2020-2040’).

The PV research pipeline guarantees robust further improvements to the already dramatic leap in lifetime, efficiency, cost etc in recent years, says Harrop. CIGS will join organic photovoltaics (OPV) in being totally free of the heavy metals that could be emitted during either misuse or wrongful disposal of the materials. Also, rare materials subject to price hikes are being bypassed. Transparency, biodegradability, availability of wide-area film, layering different technologies on top of each other – all these factors open up more sales.

But with silicon near its theoretical limits and taking up massive areas of real estate – often prime agricultural land and lakes – that multi-junction, compound semiconductor PV being developed by Toyota for mounting on a car may even compete with ‘power station’ silicon one day by affordably providing the same power in half the area, and therefore being much more widely deployable and acceptable, concludes IDTechEx.

Tags: Thin-film PV

Visit: www.idtechex.com

Source: http://www.semiconductor-today.com/news_items/2020/jul/id-techex-030720.shtml

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Semiconductor

II-VI prices public offerings, upscaled from $750m to $800m

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2 July 2020

Engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA has announced the pricing of concurrent underwritten public offerings of (i) 9,302,235 shares of its common stock at $43 per share, for gross proceeds of about $400m (upscaled from the $350m announced on 30 June); and (ii) 2,000,000 shares of its Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock at a price of $200 per share, for gross proceeds of $400m (before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, in both cases).

In addition, II-VI has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase (at the applicable public offering price) up to an additional (i) 1,395,335 shares of its common stock; and (ii) 300,000 shares of Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock (solely to cover over-allotments), minus underwriting discounts and commissions.

Each offering is expected to close on or about 7 July, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Unless earlier converted, each share of Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock will automatically convert on 1 July 2023 (subject to postponement for certain market disruption or other events) into between 3.8760 and 4.6512 shares of II-VI’s common stock, subject to customary anti-dilution adjustments.

Dividends on the Series A mandatory convertible preferred stock will be payable on a cumulative basis when, as and if declared by II-VI’s board of directors, at an annual rate of 6% on the liquidation preference of $200 per share. If declared, these dividends will be payable in cash, by delivery of shares of II-VI’s common stock or through any combination of cash and shares, as determined by II-VI in its sole discretion, on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October of each year, commencing on 1 October 2020 and ending on, and including, 1 July 2023.

BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup are acting as joint book-running managers for each offering.
II-VI expects to use up to $714.6m of the net proceeds from these offerings and/or cash on hand to repay borrowings (including accrued interest) under its existing credit agreement, and to use the remainder of net proceeds (if any) to develop, enhance, invest in or acquire related, emerging or complementary technologies, products or businesses and for other general corporate purposes.

Tags: II-VI Inc

Visit: www.ii-vi.com

Source: http://www.semiconductor-today.com/news_items/2020/jul/iivi-020720.shtml

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Semiconductor

FBH and UVphotonics develop LED irradiation system – from disinfection to medical treatments

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2 July 2020

Berlin-based Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH) and its spin-off UVphotonics NT GmbH have designed and developed a versatile turnkey irradiation system for surface treatment.

Since the compact, modular system can be equipped with both in-house-developed UV LEDs as well as commercially available UV, visible and infrared LEDs, it can be flexibly adjusted to the targeted emission spectrum.

For disinfection purposes the system can be equipped with in-house-developed LEDs emitting at 265nm to eliminate germs on critical surfaces, including personal items such as mobile phones and reusable masks as well as menu cards in restaurants. It can also be used in the professional sector, for example in healthcare clinics and laboratories.

The system is equipped with an illumination module comprising 16 UV LEDs distributed over an area of 80mm x 80mm. The LEDs provide an illumination intensity of >5mW/cm2. So, the irradiation system achieves the minimum UV dose of 500mJ/cm2 recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US Department of Health) in less than two minutes. An integrated timer ensures the correct dosage.

The module can control up to four different wavelengths separately, which can be an advantage in applications such as medical treatments and curing. To cover larger areas, the modular segments can be mechanically interconnected wire-free and therefore the system is flexibly expandable into one-dimensional as well as two-dimensional arrays. Also, individually shaped arrays are possible, which can be integrated into a large number of disinfection systems.

The overall system is a plug & play solution that can be computer-controlled or operated as standalone with constant power. Even programming a timing pattern is possible.

Tags: UV LEDs

Visit: www.uvphotonics.de

Visit: www.fbh-berlin.com

Source: http://www.semiconductor-today.com/news_items/2020/jul/fbh-uvphotonics-020720.shtml

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