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Printed Electronics: The Opportunities are Coming Thick and Fast

There is a dramatic change in some industries, with leading printed electronics vendors moving quickly to capitalize on the new sought after capabilities. These opportunities will be addressed at the Printed Electronics Europe exhibition and conference in Berlin on 13 – 14 May (register by 23 January to save 40%). 

Flexible and Printed Electronics in Mobility

In the automobile industry, vehicles are increasingly shifting from internal combustion engines (ICE) towards electric drive systems. The anticipated change was far less from what actually happened. As a result, opportunities in printed electronics arose with this move to the electronic drive system. For example, power semiconductors will be used over conventional silicon integrated circuits to handle the higher power transfer, resulting in a need for more appropriate semiconductor packaging materials to dissipate the heat. Silver nanoparticle materials and graphene are already in use by Tesla and Ford respectively today.

Another printed electronics sector that is growing is the In-Mold Electronics (IME) as car dashboards are becoming increasingly integrated. The €17Bn automotive parts supplier Faurecia forecast a €2.9 billion market for printed electronics in vehicles by 2025, announced at an IDTechEx Printed Electronics event in 2019. The functional ink and material providers have rallied behind the opportunity.

Flexible and Printed Electronics in Healthcare

Apart from the automobile industry, another sector that is being heavily influenced by Flexible and Printed electronics is the healthcare sector. For instance, the glucose test strips market has gone down heavily due to the pain associated with it and instead the use of electronic skin patches has increased to monitor the human condition continuously. In other sectors, heart rate monitors are also seeing a shift from the uncomfortable and bulky wired systems to systems that are skin-like. 

From large area skin electrodes to make thinner, more comfortable sensing patches, vendors in materials and systems within the printed electronics industry are deep into product development while others have already enabled a range of commercial electronic skin patch products, a market which will grow to $20 billion in 2029.

Flexible and Printed Electronics in Consumer Electronics

Another important sector which is being influenced is Consumer Electronics. 5G will result in less reliance on problematic wired broadband and it will enable new services and applications thanks to the faster data transfer capability. However, the higher frequencies that are increasingly employed to achieve this mean that more shielding is required at an IC package level, with spray-on or print-on electromagnetic interference (EMI) solutions in trials now, thanks to printed electronics. 

From material opportunities in electric vehicles to electronics skin patches in healthcare to new form factors of electronics in consumer devices; these are among the topics covered at Printed Electronics Europe; the conference, showcase, and exhibition of the printed and flexible electronics industry, to be held on 13-14 May in Berlin, Germany. 

2,500 attendees, over 250 speakers, and over 200 exhibitors will converge at the event, which focuses on the business of printed electronics – with key OEMs and value chain participants moving the industry forward.

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