Ceramic induction plates cook by magnetic induction, instead of by thermal conduction from a flame, or an electrical heating element. This means ceramic induction plates use magnetism to work, so pots or pans must be made of ferromagnetic metals such as cast iron or some stainless steels. However copper, glass, and aluminum can be used if they are placed on a ferromagnetic disk which functions as a conventional hotplate.
Ceramic induction plates are quite efficient, which means they put less waste heat into the kitchen, can be quickly turned off, have significant safety advantages compared gas hobs (cooktops). Ceramic induction plates are also usually easy to clean, because the ceramic surface itself does not get very hot.