Panasonic Meeting Market Needs with Higher-Performance Megtron 7

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Abe: Yes, actually, as Tony said, the Megtron series has a unique resin system, so we need to find a custom adhesion treatment on the foil. We cannot use every foil for the Megtron series, but we already have some technology developed around Megtron 6 that is a similar resin, so we can use that technique for the Megtron 7. Now we have a very low profile

Senese: The use of the lowest profile foil available at the time we developed Megtron 6 became the de facto standard and led the way for all these products in the market today, and it has spawned a family of new products by our copper foil suppliers around the world who try to exploit that.

Starkey: I think the chemical process suppliers responded as well by producing bonding treatments that give a very low profile surface.

Senese: Right, this is the next part. The newest part or the part of developing Megtron 7 that you've asked about is this idea that we were able to quantify over the last seven or eight years that the bonding treatment has a significant effect. Maybe half the effect of the actual roughness of the copper foil, but a measurable, significant effect, especially as we go to the higher and higher frequencies. And so for the first time ever, part of Abe's development requirements became to go out at the time that the product comes to market and evaluate any and all of the most promising inner layer adhesion promoters that are available, so that we can make a very strong recommendation about which of those products we believe will give the customers the lowest insertion loss and the lowest transmission loss.

Starkey: So it's certainly an area that the chemical process suppliers are very conscious of at the moment.

Senese: Yes, now we have the chemical suppliers coming to us, to make sure the products they develop work with the Megtron series.

Starkey: They know what need to achieve and they're going to do as much as they can to help you. Guys, I think we've covered an awful lot of ground. Is there anything else in particular that you want to mention at this stage?

Senese: I think one of the things that is misunderstood most about this segment of the industry is how long it takes for a product to be developed and then submitted to the OEMs for their evaluations and then come to market. If nothing else, Megtron 6 has taught us patience, and so our perspective on how these development cycles go, I think, is a lot different than some of the rest of the people in the industry. We know that for a product to get into the market, to be qualified for these high-level designs, and then to actually become commercially successful takes years—many years in some cases.

Our goals for this product are different than they are for many of our other commercial products. We look at this product to be the leading product in the business to be evaluated by consortia, by OEMs, and by our customers over the next few years, so that maybe we start receiving production-level orders in 2016, perhaps the end of 2016, and that we actually don't even come close to the level of business that we have on our other products for several years.

Starkey: I completely understand. I'm sure as well that you're already working on Megtron 8.

Senese: I could tell you, but I'd have to shoot you (laughs).

Starkey: Gentlemen, thanks very much indeed for your time.


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