A Week-long Industry ExtravaganzaMarch 3, 2023 | Happy Holden, I-Connect007
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
We were back in San Diego, maybe for a “long vacation,” as IPC APEX EXPO is in Anaheim next year. Before we get to Anaheim, though, let’s talk about the show: It was a great week.
I spent Sunday and Monday visiting some excellent Professional Development courses. As you know, this is a fast-changing industry, and we have to keep learning to stay ahead. On Monday, I attended the Microvia Weak Interface/Reliability subcommittee, and on Tuesday, the Ultra-HDI Technology Committee. These turned out to be popular, as over 90 people showed up to the Microvia Reliability meeting and around 85 at the UHDI meeting. Those committees may have many new members soon.
Tuesday’s keynote, given by Emily Calandrelli, was particularly inspiring, and you can read more about it here.
On Wednesday, I attended the “DoD Executive Agent for PCB and Interconnect Technology” (PrCB EA) Programs Update. This was very informative, with speakers updating everyone on the various activities of PrCB EA, the Defense Production Act Title III, the Defense Microelectronics Cross-Functional Team, and Marc Carter’s EMTE education outreach. IPC’s Chris Mitchell and Chris Peters of USPAE provided updates on how both organizations are facilitating government/industry cooperation and projects.
Joe O’Neill, Randy Cherry, David Bergman, and Kelly Scanlon finished off this busy session.
I then ran over to listen to a few of the Technical Sessions. All were excellent; choosing which to listen to was difficult.
I finally got down to the show floor and saw some amazing new products and product improvements, including materials, fabrication processing equipment, and SMTA systems. I spent a lot of time at the new India Pavilion as I had once managed a number of computer automation projects for BHEL in India for HP.
Finally, the week was topped off by two new Thursday morning sessions that I can report were outstanding: Matt Kelly's Special Session on Advanced Packaging had over 100 in attendance (with standing room only) and offered many excellent and valuable presentations by some of the industry's most knowledgeable speakers and panelists.
The e-Mobility/EV Automotive special session, hosted by Brian O’Leary and Udo Welzel, was my second session highlight from Thursday. This session was divided into two sections: marketing trends and challenges, and building a supercomputer on wheels. Speakers highlighted the high recalls for EVs due to electronic problems, mainly due to public chargers that struggle in inclement weather, or design weaknesses.
The IPC standard A-610 is just the start, and EVs have different specs and components than cars with internal combustion engines. The technical challenges for EVS are temperature variation, heavy copper PCBs, density requirements, thermal dissipation, electromagnetics, and vibration/shaking requirements.
Happy Holden is a regular columnist for I-Connect007. To read past columns, click here.
There has always been pressure to reduce line and space as we have seen the bleeding edge technology go from 8 mils to 5 mils and then to 3 mils. The difference between “then” and “now” is that the prior advancements, for the most part, used the same processes, chemistry and equipment going from 8 mils to 3 mils. But going from 3 mil to sub 1 mil trace and space is a quantum leap in printed circuit board (PCB) technology that requires a whole new set of processes and materials.
In a previous column, the critical process of desmear and its necessity to ensure a clean copper surface connection was presented. Now, my discussion will focus on obtaining a void-free and tightly adherent copper plating deposit on these surfaces. After the desmear process, the task is to insure a continuous, conductive, and void-free deposit on the via walls and capture pad. Today, there are several processes that can be utilized to render vias conductive.
Panasonic’s Darren Hitchcock spoke with the I-Connect007 Editorial Team on the complexities of moving toward ultra HDI manufacturing. As we learn in this conversation, the number of shifting constraints relative to traditional PCB fabrication is quite large and can sometimes conflict with each other.
MKS’ Atotech, a leading surface finishing brand of MKS Instruments, will participate in the upcoming IPCA Expo at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) and showcase its latest PCB manufacturing solutions from September 13 – 15.
Flexible circuit applications can be as basic as furnishing electrical interconnect between two conventional circuit board assemblies, or to prove a platform for placing and interconnecting electronic components. During the planning and pre-design phase of the flexible circuit, there will be several material and process related questions that need to be addressed. Most flexible circuit fabricators welcome the opportunity to discuss their customers’ flexible circuit objectives prior to beginning the actual design process.