Column from: Dan Feinberg

Dan Feinberg is President and CEO of Fein-Line Associates, Inc., a business  services and market research consulting firm focused on the electronic  interconnect and assembly industries. Dan was a founding Partner in the  Quantum Performance Group, LLC, also a market research firm. Dan was  formerly president of Morton Electronic Materials (formally Dynachem), a  $240 million division of Morton International, Inc., and a group vice  president of the parent company Morton International until its  acquisition by Rohm and Haas in 1999. He is a 45 year veteran of IPC,  was the founding chair of the suppliers council which resulted in the  founding of IPC Expo. Dan is presently chairman of the IPC’s Government  Relations committee. Dan was recently awarded the IPC Hall of Fame Award  for lifetime service to the industry. He has spoken at numerous  industry events and has hundreds of published articles, columns and  Webcasts. Dan also teaches computer technology for the Cyber Café and  lectures on computer use for S.C.O.R.E. His experience in international  marketing, mergers and acquisitions and technology based business makes  him uniquely suited to assist companies in today’s global, highly  competitive environment.

January 17, 2024

Fein-Lines: CES 2024—A Tech Gadget Lover’s Dream

“Open sesame” is a magical phrase in the story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" in Antoine Galland's version of One Thousand and One Nights. In the story, this phrase opens the mouth of a cave in which 40 thieves have hidden a treasure. Attending CES was like opening the mouth to a cave of treasures. As soon as the show floor opened, I quickly realized that the two days available to me were not nearly enough. There were truly many hidden treasures now being revealed.
January 16, 2024

Fein-Lines: CES 2024—Showstoppers and a Real Show-Opener

On Press Day at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, I chose to attend presentations from TCL, Samsung, and a few others, but while traveling between events, I became distracted by a presentation by Abbott Labs that I have to tell you about. In my next column, I will cover more of the most impressive showings, including solar devices, TV capabilities, and so much more. As always, I never get to see as much as I would like to, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.
January 09, 2024

Fein-Lines: CES 2024—Reviewing the ‘Show’ Before the Show

With two days of media presentations and technology previews before CES 2024 even opened its show floor on Tuesday, there was still so much to see and hear. The opportunities for media seem endless here, and it’s impossible to take advantage of them all. The first media day offered three great opportunities, and no matter the market segment, the focus was on getting a leg up on new technology, areas of impressive growth, the new and growing incorporation of AI, and how industry and the public feel about its rapid growth.
December 14, 2023

Fein-Lines: Ramping up for CES 2024

CES is perhaps the largest and most inclusive technology show in the world. No matter which area of technology you care about, this show in Las Vegas will have it. I have been attending and covering CES for over 40 years and as a techie, I always look forward to it. This massive event is less than a month away.
August 24, 2023

Fein-Lines: The Road Less Traveled—Working From Home or the Office?

During the last few years, the ability to choose to work from home or the office has become a hot topic. When the pandemic was at its peak, working from home had obvious advantages. For many, it was a necessity, and then it became the norm. Now, employers are moving many positions back to the corporate office. Which is better for you?
June 01, 2023

Fein-Lines: AI—Here and Changing the World

Every day we hear more about artificial intelligence and, specifically, AI-powered chatbots. Some of us have learned to use this new and rapidly growing technology. Some read about it but do not fully understand or care what it does, but I can assure you that if you have not learned about it, you soon will. In this column, I will introduce Chat AI, generate some questions and in some cases I will let AI answer.
January 15, 2023

Fein-Lines: An Eye-Popping Eureka Park and ShowStoppers at CES 2023

CES 2023 has ended and two of the most interesting areas of probably any trade show I’ve ever attended were Eureka Park and ShowStoppers. Small booths, new and unique products, and new ideas for potential partners—all categorized by country and on full display to potential investors and customers. It’s a unique opportunity to launch a new product, start a new service, or test an idea.
January 10, 2023

Fein-Lines: CES Recap—A Full Media Day and AMD Keynote

CES 2023 came and went, and after logging more than 20,000 steps a day, I’m finally sitting down to recap some of the most amazing innovations yet. There’s so much to talk about that I’ve decided to share it in two parts. In this column, I’ll share my impressions of the CES Media Day on Wednesday, Jan. 4, which filled its schedule with more good presentations than I could attend. And that’s not a bad thing when you consider companies such as Panasonic, Brunswick, TCL, and Samsung. I capped off my day across town with an opening keynote from Dr. Lisa Su, CEO of AMD.
January 04, 2023

Fein-Lines: CES Pre-Press Day—The Show Before the Show

This is the first real CES in three years and my first post-COVID trip to Las Vegas. Suffice it to say, things have changed. From the extreme traffic heading in and out of the city to the elimination of some of our favorite restaurants, and even many of the people working at the show, not much feels the same. But isn’t that just like technology? Just when you get used to something, another innovation comes along to disrupt what we know and gets us to press forward toward (hopefully) something even better. I took this attitude into the pre-show activities on Tuesday, Jan. 3, where CES and ShowStoppers set up press events to give us a peek into the future.
January 02, 2023

Fein-Lines: Packing My Bags for CES 2023

I look forward every year to CES, and it starts tomorrow with a host of media-related events. This massive consumer technology show in Las Vegas has launched some of today’s most exciting technological breakthroughs and I expect the 2023 show to be just as fruitful.
November 02, 2022

Fein-Lines: CES 2023—The Focus Is Becoming Clear

If you want to be where the people are—and the action is—you’ll want to be at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The most recent report I read from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is that CES 2023 will likely be the largest, in-person, audited business event to take place in the United States since early 2020. In fact, it is on track to exceed the 2022 event by 40%.
October 25, 2022

Fein-Lines: CES, IPC APEX EXPO—Excitement for the Two Biggest Shows of the Year

It’s trade show season and I’m excited. In 2023, I’m looking forward to CES, IPC APEX EXPO, and a host of others. There’s a certain energy that comes from meeting together, seeing the latest, most innovative products, and projecting what this technology means for our future. In the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing more about what to expect from these shows and how to make the most of them.
August 11, 2022

Fein-Lines: Live in Person—PCEA/Orange County Meets Up Again

If the United States is ever going to regain some of its historically large PCB fab market share, design and fabrication knowhow must play a significant role. “Fabricators are an important part of the design with manufacturing practice,” says Scott McCurdy, president of the Orange County chapter of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA), which recently had its first live event in more than two years. “They are advancing their technology and it is incumbent on designers to spend time talking with their fab vendors’ technical people and communicating their needs and concerns. This will ultimately get the best result in yield, cost, performance, and mutual satisfaction in the relationship.”
June 23, 2022

Fein-Lines: Virtual Reality is About to Get a Lot More Real—and Fun

While two very interesting technology shows in the past month each had their own focus, I came away from both with the feeling that not only will these industries collide, but we are on the precipice of an explosion in extended reality. Additionally, these shows were just a preview of what we can expect from CES 2023 as developers from around the world demonstrate the next generation of technology. Here are my key takeaways, what’s coming next, and suggestions to see the “reality” for yourselves.
May 18, 2022

Fein-Lines: XR—the Future is Near

When virtual reality first appeared on PCs, it was mostly used to create special effects for gaming. There has been huge progress since. What wasn’t clear, though, was how fast the overall technology would evolve and how extended reality would unfold its full potential in both entertainment and business. The upcoming AWE show seeks to highlight the latest in technology. What are you most looking forward to?
April 13, 2022

Fein-Lines: Is Windows 11 the Greatest Operating System of All Time?

I held off updating Windows 11 for several months, but finally took the plunge and it has quickly become my favorite operating system of all time. I know that’s a bold statement but let me tell you why I’ve come to this conclusion. Windows 11 was first released to the general user base in October 2021. Since then, there have been 12 previews, updates, and changes. Initially it was only available to the newest computers but is now available on most newer devices. Don’t feel pressured, however, as Windows 10 is still available and will continue to get necessary updates for the next few years.
March 21, 2022

Fein-Lines: Time to Upgrade to Windows 11?

My friends, family, and clients have asked me, “Should I upgrade to Windows 11? Is now a good time?” If you’re like most PCB designers, you are using Windows 10 for everything you do. It’s true that Windows continues to be the dominant operating global system, with all versions of Windows comprising slightly over 70% of the global market share for desktops and laptops of all types and brands. For mobile phones, however, Android dominates.
February 21, 2022

Fein-Lines: Here’s How Technology Will Play Out in 2022

Welcome to 2022, the start of the first year of a new normal where we go back to our pre-pandemic ways but with higher prices, more advanced technology, more acceptance of online meetings and communication, and some initial movement to XR in everyday life. Anyone who follows my column knows I have my favorite topics. So, with that in mind, here’s what I see coming.
December 02, 2021

Fein-Lines: Who Will Maintain Control of Global Chip Manufacturing?

Will the U.S. gain back significant share of global chip manufacturing or continue to decline and become less relevant in this critical area? Back in 1990, the U.S. dominated the world in its use of chips, with about 40% of the total global production made in the United States. That number was down from its peak, but it was still significant. Much has changed in 30 years. Today the U.S. supplies approximately 12% of the global chip market, even though U.S.-based companies use a much higher percentage of the chips.
November 04, 2021

Fein-Lines: End-User Technology Show Season Ramps Up

There are several technology trade shows on the horizon, including IPC APEX EXPO, AltiumLive, NEPCON Japan, and SEMICON West. There are many others, but the ones coming up primarily focus on end-user technology rather than the design, components, and manufacturing processes used to make the end product. Two of these end-product shows have been of great interest to me, and to many of our readers, for decades: the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES), January 5-8 and Augmented World Expo (AWE), November 9-11.
October 13, 2021

Fein-Lines: New Product Review—What's in Your Wallet?

With the trade show season looming and with AWE right around the corner followed by CES and then IPC APEX/EXPO just a few months out, we are starting to see announcements regarding new and updated devices.
September 16, 2021

Fein-Lines: PCEA Presentation—Latest PCB Fab Processes

As someone who started his career as a PCB fab process engineer in the early '60s I find it interesting that many of the processes for PCB interconnects are still in use today. Yes, we had eyelets then, but, hey, we did start using plated through-holes too.
March 13, 2018

Fein-Lines: Who is Your Customer?

Who is your customer? The answer depends on your goal and whether you’re talking about the short term or the long term. Are you in sales or marketing and therefore looking to sell or assist in selling your company’s products? If so, then you might say that your customer is XYZ Circuits or ABC Assembly or even Ace Distribution. But are they really your key customer?
December 11, 2017

Fein-Lines: So Much Virtual Reality, So Little Time

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us and that means that it is almost CES time again. CES marks so many new announcements as well as the unveiling of advances for technology that is truly gaining ground, such as autonomous vehicles, drones and augmented/mixed/virtual reality or, in some cases just the opposite, flash-in-the-pan trends such as 3D TV are also evident by their sudde
May 25, 2017

Fein-Lines: Virus, Phishing, Ransomware…Oh My!

Malware, the collective name for viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious software that can infect your computer, has been in the news lately, probably more than at any time I can remember. Over the years, malware has evolved; it can affect smartphones and tablets as well as all computers.
January 05, 2016

CES: Day One

CES Unveiled is the official media event for CES. It is the first official happening of what promises to be a very busy and fascinating week. At this event, members of the press get to preview a number of innovative startups as well as some new products from a few established global brands.
November 17, 2014

Fein-Lines: Computer Security Tips

Many scams are perpetrated on unknowing computer users. They come in all flavors and no one--no matter what type of computer you use--is immune. This month, Columnist Dan Feinberg focuses on the "I am from Windows and I'm calling to fix your computer" scam.
January 23, 2015

CES 2015: A Retrospective

Columnist Dan Feinberg believes that this was the most interesting CES in many years, perhaps ever. "Yes, there were the expected hundreds of smartphone cases and battery chargers and cables galore. But there were also strong indications of formerly embryonic trends becoming actual mainstream technology."
March 05, 2018

Fein-Lines: Do You Still Need a PC?

Millions of PCs are still being sold each year, but shipments were down substantially in the last quarter. Do you still need a computer? If so, why? Dan Feinberg ponders these questions and more in his latest column.
September 11, 2012

Fein-Lines: Dealing with Problamatic Links in E-Mail

For the last several months Dan Feinberg has had a number of students, friends, and clients ask for help with e-mail links that do not take them to the desired website. This webcast describes what he thinks may be the issue, and also provides a fix that has worked for him 100% of the time.
June 09, 2010

Fein-Lines: 32-Bit Versus 64-Bit--What's the Difference?

One question Dan Feinberg often gets during his seminars is: "What is the difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating system and why should I use either?" In this issue of Fein-Lines, he explains the difference and what choice you should make--and why--along with things to consider when making your choice.
June 18, 2008

Fein-Lines: Copper Dissolution Interview, Part I

Dan Feinberg begins a series of interviews, with Michael Carano, Global Business Development Manager of Cleveland, Ohio-based OMG Electronic Chemicals, tackling the topic of copper dissolution with lead-free solder--an issue that is certainly not new to the industry.
May 08, 2008

Fein-Lines: Friends and Business Do Mix

Senta Wong, of WKK Trading Company Ltd., is a man considered to be one of the fathers of the PWB and electronics assembly industry in Hong Kong and China. Dan, who's known Senta since the mid 1970s, discusses how Senta successfully mixes business and friendships--a fact evidenced by his most recent gathering of close friends and associates at APEX in Las Vegas.
April 24, 2008

Fein-Lines: Me Too

In Dan Feinberg's latest audio column, he joins others in our industry in giving his opinions on the recent IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008 and Nepcon China. Dan also fesses up about Los Angeles and vents about the growing number of regional shows--are there just too many?
October 24, 2007

New Column: Dan Feinberg

Listen to Dan Feinberg's newest audio column.
October 10, 2007

Fein-lines: An Interview with IPC President Denny McGuirk

I-Connect007 Columnist Dan Feinberg and Steve Gold speak with IPC President Denny McGuirk. Their conversation addresses changes in the focus of IPC's Government Relations committee, as well as the effect of globalization on IPC's mission.
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