Baking low-cost ceramic cakes. .
Because the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of more sophisticated electronics in vehicles is not technology but cost, Murata Electronics [Smyrna, GA] makes products like resonators, that are needed to populate the motherboards oF everything From the CAN (Controller Area Network) bus to remote keyless entry Fobs, with Finely processed ceramic, rather than the more common, expensive and Fragile quartz crystals, which brings down the overall cost. Peter Tiller, Murata's group product manager For Piezo and Sensor Products, says that unlike crystals, which are grown essentially the same way by every maker, ceramics are made like a cake. In addition to being cheaper, Tiller says ceramic components are, "More resilient to shock, can handle more power and are Faster to power up by an order of magnitude."