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ORLANDO – The SMTA requests abstracts for the AIMS Harsh Environment Electronics workshop, taking place Aug. 18-19 in Orlando.
The SMTA, with Auburn University, is moving the program from Indianapolis to Orlando to co-locate with SMTA International. 
The workshop will focus on harsh environments with an added emphasis on military and space. Abstracts with new and timely information on the latest developments are solicited.
Specific subject areas may include semiconductor technology; substrate advancements; connectors and interconnect technology; lead-free implementation; advancements in materials; next-generation harsh environment automotive systems; the latest developments in thermal cycle testing for extreme environment electronics; substrate surface finishes for harsh environment applications; chemical, thermal and vibration considerations for industrial electronics; reliability (ESS, HALT, HASS), and operating environments for military electronics (land, sea, air and space).
The deadline for abstracts is Feb. 29.
Speakers will be required to submit presentation materials for inclusion in the workshop proceedings.  Please note there is not a paper requirement for this event. 
Interested participants should send a 200-300 word abstract to Melissa Serres at or to the SMTA Web site at
EL SEGUNDO, CA – After two lackluster quarters, plasma display panel shipments rebounded during the third quarter because of increased consumer demand driven by rapid price declines, according to iSuppli Corp.
Global shipments of PDPs, which are used mainly in TVs, reached 3 million units, up 27.1% sequentially, and up 15% year-over-year. In contrast, PDP-TV shipment growth in the second quarter was an anemic 4.5%, following a sequential drop of 16.6% in the first quarter, iSuppli says. The first half of 2007 saw no growth compared to the equivalent period in 2006.
“The attractive pricing of plasma television sets has captured the attention of consumers, especially for the 50" and larger sizes, boosting the market prospects for PDPs,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems and plasma panels at iSuppli. 
“However, the rise in consumer attention presently isn’t making any of the leading panel makers rejoice – and it isn’t convincing them to add any capacity at this time, as they remain cautious,” Patel added. 
iSuppli believes a balanced supply situation is likely to prevail in 2008 and beyond for PDP makers as they retain their cautious attitude toward adding capacity. Furthermore, plasma will maintain its stronghold in the large-screen market – 50" and larger diagonally – as TV makers continue to offer less-expensive televisions with larger screen sizes. 
Although competition from LCDs has had a dramatic impact on the plasma market in the consumer and business segments, PDP shipments are continuing to grow at a slow but steady pace. PDP suppliers continue to work on improving their technology and cutting costs to remain competitive, adopting new technologies and techniques, including single-scan technology, lower power consumption and improved materials, according to the research firm.  
“These improvements are helping panel makers to reduce production costs,” Patel said. “This will make PDP television sets more attractive to buyers that are comparing plasma sets with LCD-TVs—not only based on resolution—but also on price. While profitability is still a worry, price declines are inevitable due to the severe competition from the LCD market as well as from microdisplay-based rear-projection sets.” 
Global PDP market revenue is expected to amount to $7.64 billion in 2011, virtually unchanged from $7.63 billion in 2006. On the other hand, units will double to 20.1 million by 2011, rising at a CAGR of 14.9% from 2006. This will be a result of a decline in per-panel ASPs to $380 by 2011, down from $761 in 2006, says iSuppli.
Looking at the big-three suppliers of PDPs, Matsushita (Panasonic) maintained its lead in the third quarter with a 30.2% share of unit shipments, followed by Samsung SDI with 29.1% and LG Electronics with 28.9%. 
The Top-3 plasma panel makers in the third quarter accounted for 88.1% of total production and are likely to maintain this commanding position in the market for the next five years, according to iSuppli.
For PDP suppliers, the main challenges continue to be the cost of panel production and the slower uptake in the end markets. With revenue expected to remain flat during the next five years, these problems aren’t likely to solve themselves, iSuppli believes.
ATLANTA – Registration for PCB Austin 2008 is now open at
Scheduled for Mar. 4-6 at the Wingate by Wyndham & Conference Center in Round Rock, TX, PCB Austin will feature PCB design and fabrication experts teaching full and half-day courses.
Scheduled speakers include Cadence Design Systems, Doug Brooks, Happy Holden, National Instruments, Susy Webb and Wayne Pulliam. Course topics include signal integrity, HDI, designing for the Asian fabrication market, PCB design basics and BGA routing.  

PCB Austin 2008 consists of three days of targeted conference courses; a one-day tabletop exhibition; several free technical presentations, and an evening reception on the show floor sponsored by National Instruments.

Part of the PCB Shows family of conferences, PCB Austin 2008 is produced by UP Media Group, parent company of Circuits Assembly and Printed Circuit Design & Fab.
For more information, visit
PCB Shows are the premier conferences and exhibitions for PCB engineering, design and manufacture professionals. PCB East ( and PCB West ( are annual showcases for emerging technologies used in the design and manufacture of PCBs, programmable logic devices (PLDs), multichip modules (MCMs), high-density interconnect (HDI), flexible circuits and related technologies.
For additional information, visit
BANNOCKBURN, IL— The IPC has formally urged the European Commission not to change the RoHS Directive, and to hold any proposed changes until their technical feasibility can be reviewed.

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ARLINGTON, VA -- Just months after splitting from its former parent, the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association will merge with the Information Technology Association of America, the associations announced.

The merger will bring together nearly 400 technology companies to focus on public
policy, business development, technology standards and market intelligence under the
ITAA banner. The merger is set to close on or about April 1.

Until last year, the GEIA was part of the EIA.

“We are creating a single place for companies to come together and move the technology
industry forward, whether those firms are focused on the government or commercial
markets; IT or electronics,” said ITAA chairman Henry Steininger, in a statement.

GEIA’s membership and programs will become a new group within ITAA. GEIA’s current board of directors will continue to oversee the activities of the GEIA group.

The ITAA board will be adjusted to provide equal representation of ITAA and GEIA

Former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce Phil Bond will continue to serve as president and chief executive of the combined organization. GEIA president Dan Heinemeier becomes executive vice president and chief operating officer of ITAA.
KALMAR, SWEDEN -- Hoping to expand its business in Europe, Ethertronics has acquired Flextronics' design center here for an undisclosed sum.

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BANNOCKBURN, IL – A new report on silicon-on-chip and system-in-package integration identifies embedded components as a key emerging technology in component and product miniaturization. The research, by Prismark Partners, looks at the impact of miniaturization on the supply chain and how it drives certain technology and business shifts.  Read more ...
TOYKO – Expanded significantly from last year’s edition, Nepcon World Tokyo used both the massive East and West Halls at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, in part to accommodate the arrival of a major fiber optics wing. Even better: The halls were packed with visitors all three days.

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SAN JOSE – North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers saw orders slip 18% year-over-year in December, the SEMI trade group said today.

For the month, manufacturers posted $1.23 billion in orders, up 9% over November.

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TRENTON, NJ -- The governor of New Jersey this week signed a law banning electronics devices from state garbage cans and landfills after Jan. 1, 2009.

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NATICK, MA -- Machine vision equipment OEM Cognex Corp. has named Dr. Makoto Inoue president of Cognex K.K., the company’s Japanese subsidiary, responsible for sales, marketing, engineering and technical support in Japan. He will oversee five offices and more than 100 employees.

He replaces Hiro Ohgusu, who joined Cognex in 1990 and who remains on Cognex K. K.'s board of directors.

He reports to Eric Ceyrolle, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.

Dr. Inoue spent the previous 30 years with Komatsu Ltd., a manufacturer of industrial machinery and equipment, most recently as CEO and president of Komatsu Electronics Inc. 
WASHINGTON – National Association of Manufacturers’ president and CEO John Engler called this week's National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commissions’ recommendations for funding the nation’s infrastructure network an “excellent platform to begin discussing how to improve the U.S. transportation system.”

After nearly two years of nationwide hearings, the 12-member commission issued the report analyzing the needs of U.S. surface infrastructure over the next 30 years. The report offered recommendations to address urban congestion, rural access, project delivery and freight needs.

“Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure system is a top priority of manufacturers,” Engler said. “We depend on the ability to move goods throughout the country efficiently yet face transportation bottlenecks that cost industry nearly $8 billion a year.

"The commission reached a consensus on the clear need to increase investment in our nation’s transportation system to lessen these bottlenecks,” he said. “While there are bound to be differences among commissioners over the level or source of funding, these differences do not diminish the compelling case for additional investment.”

Congress will begin discussing reauthorizing funding for the surface transportation program this week with Chairman James Oberstar’s (D-MN) hearing on this report in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“Congress should look at mix of investment sources from all levels of government – federal and state – as well as public-private partnerships,” Engler said. “The time is now to work together to find a solution to this complex problem,” he said. “The U.S. will soon be facing a competitive disadvantage if we don’t develop a national plan to improve the quality of our infrastructure system like our international trading partners.”

The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission’s recommendations are available at

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