Rapid thermal cycling is becoming increasingly important as PCR becomes more widely used in point-of-service, field-level applications. New applications pushing for portability and reduced analysis time offer the promise of large new markets beyond the traditional laboratory and academic settings. In order to meet these requirements, Laird has developed a compact thermal cycler reference design based on the microscopic size and fast response time of thin-film thermoelectrics. Thin-films enable a new generation of compact thermal cyclers that feature significantly shorter throughput times, smaller sample sizes, and reduced footprint for real-time testing in healthcare, forensics, and food safety.