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Rogier Reinders of Dow Corning Electronics explains the factors driving vehicle-electronics innovation.

Ninety per cent of innovation in new vehicles is in electronic technology.

Because of this, automakers and their suppliers are constantly searching for new electronics materials and solutions that enhance car buyers’ perceptions of value and meet governmental standards for performance and environmental controls.

Today, a significant cost of an average car is in the electrical/electronic components – and this percentage is growing.

At the same time, OEMs and suppliers in the automotive industry are looking to improve automotive electronic reliability while respecting the specifications of low-cost high-volume production and the light weight, compactness and short time-to-market imposed by the automotive industry.

As auto electronics continue moving into chip-scale packages and wafer-scale technology to miniaturise component designs, the inherent properties of all materials will be re-examined.

By improving performance and reducing failures of electronic and photonic circuits and components, silicon materials can help satisfy the automotive industry’s need for smaller, lighter, higher-performing devices that can reliably function in harsh environments for long periods.

But material innovation alone is not expected to do the job.

How should material suppliers and the automotive electronics industry respond to consumer desires for more and better automotive electronics, while also ensuring reliable performance and profitability to protect their own futures? The answer can be found in using new ways of working together to develop solutions for these complex challenges.

A strong case can be made for co-development for new automotive electronics applications and solutions.

When materials suppliers, tier-ones, OEMs and equipment suppliers share information, investment and accountability from the early stages, application development times can be shortened, better solutions can be found and greater value can be created.

Two collaboration models successfully piloted in the chemicals industry are presented here.

Dow Corning has started running a material commercialisation model that integrates its customers’ developments and Dow Corning’s developments in a formally aligned and disciplined fashion.

This formal co-development process has resulted in technical and application solutions that increase total design performance, lower development cost, deliver faster innovation and enhance final module reliability.

Dow Corning has also recently founded the Equipment Alliance Partnership Program with nine leading companies from the electronics assembly and packaging industry.

Under that alliance model, Dow Corning works with member companies and customers to streamline the integration of materials and equipment used in board-level assembly and back-end packaging, resulting in standard equipment or customised solutions that help customers meet production goals more quickly and efficiently.

Co-development in relevant parts of the value chain delivers faster innovation, higher certainty delivery of results and, as a result, a stronger competitive stance for parties involved in the market.

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide.

A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands.

Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

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