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January 14, 2013

Doug Dixon, Global Marketing Director, Henkel Electronics

Doug Dixon, Global Marketing Director, Henkel Electronics
Doug Dixon, Global Marketing Director, Henkel Electronics
There's no doubt that the industry is entering 2013 with a level of uncertainty about global markets. What is certain, at least in Henkel's view, are the drivers of technology and areas of growth. We see the consumer segment continuing to be dominated by handhelds, with smart phones, tablets, ultrabooks and other portable devices adding even more functionality and encouraging wider adoption.

In the automotive sector, electronic content in vehicles will continue to accelerate, with fuel efficiency standards, safety features and entertainment systems driving high-reliability technology innovation. And, in the fast-growing lighting market, high-brightness LEDs (HB LEDs) are delivering better energy-saving lighting options for automotive and general lighting applications.

Each of these market segments have unique requirements and depend on novel materials innovations to achieve their stated objectives. In the handhelds sector, for example, the exponential increases in functionality mean higher operating temperatures. Here, effective thermal management is a large consideration both for proper device function and user comfort. To address these issues, Henkel has broad range of thermal interface materials (TIM), the most recent of which, LOCTITE TAF-8800 thermal film, lowers the CPU operating temperature and the product's skin temperature significantly as compared to alternative solutions. Plus, it's a lighter material, so doesn't add undue weight to portable products.

With the content of handhelds becoming increasingly complex, the value of these devices has also risen, meaning frequent replacement is not a welcome option for consumers.  Because of this, protecting the PCB with advanced conformal coating materials and ensuring component interconnect stability with next-generation reworkable underfills is critical.  Henkel's portfolio of PCB protection and underfill systems deliver long-term reliability for today’s high value handhelds.

In the automotive market, reliability reigns. All components, sensors, lighting elements -- everything -- has to be highly reliable over the long-term. Likewise, the materials used within automotive electronics have to deliver to these standards. Materials like Henkel solder alloy LOCTITE MULTICORE 90iSC, which offers superior reliability in a lead-free formulation, provide precisely the kind of high temperature compatibility auto manufacturers demand.  Still other materials, such as conformal coatings, potting solutions, underfills and lighting encapsulants, all play a role in ensuring robust and reliable performance.

Not only are new lighting technologies -- namely HB LEDs -- becoming the norm in automotive designs, but industrial, architectural and general lighting applications are also tapping into the power of HB LEDs. With brighter light emissions comes the requirement for better encapsulation materials that can withstand certain environmental conditions and ensure light quality for the long-term. Henkel has been hard at work on some novel new materials and expects to debut them in 2013.

Over the next year or five or ten, we only see the continuation of miniaturization, new package designs and integrated packaging architectures driving the semiconductor and assembly markets. So, while the global economy remains unpredictable, Henkel is confident about future opportunities and our instrumental role in delivering technology-enabling solutions.

Doug Dixon, Global Marketing Director
Henkel Electronic Materials LLC