The Changing Shape of the HDI Market


Reading time ( words)

Evolution of the HDI PCB

Since their advent in the early-to-mid-1990s, high-density interconnect (HDI) PCBs have undergone several changes and could now be said to be entering their third evolution. Based on subtractive, or print-and-etch processes, the early HDI panels made use of traditional cores and sequential lamination steps to produce high-end boards with ~60 mm line and space (L/S) capabilities. But most importantly, they relied on microvias to enable their high interconnect density, which, at that time, could not be readily achieved with other technologies.

As board producers improved their processes, HDI board capability also improved; with the release of what we now accept as the smartphone, in the early 2000s, the second generation of HDI panels came into being. While the laser microvias remained, stacked vias began to replace staggered vias, and in combination with the “any layer” or “every layer” build-up technique, these new HDI boards eventually begin to exhibit 40 mm L/S.

Still based on subtractive technologies, this any-layer approach remains the king of the HDI techniques, and it is true to say that the majority of the advanced HDI PCBs that are typical to mobile devices are still produced with this technique. However, in 2017, the HDI market began its next evolution by starting to move away from subtractive processes and into those based on pattern plating. While still reasonably common in Europe and the USA, in Asia HDI has been generally limited to IC substrate manufacturers.

Semi-additive processing (SAP) uses pattern plating processes to realize features

To read the full version of this article which originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

Share


Suggested Items

Increasing Productivity for Flex Fabricators

11/14/2018 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Barry Matties and Nolan Johnson of I-Connect007 met with Shane Noel and industry veteran Mike Jennings of ESI to discuss the introduction of their CapStone laser tool, a product aimed at doubling their flex circuit fabricators’ throughput. Mike also shares advice for fabricators who are looking to move into the ever-growing flex market.

Additive Electronics: PCB Scale to IC Scale

10/26/2018 | Tara Dunn, OMNI PCB
SAP, mSAP, SLP—what kind of crazy acronyms have we adopted now, and how much do you really need to know? In terms of consumer electronics, there is a good chance that the smartphone attached to your hand at all times contains a PCB fabricated with this technology—or at the very least, the next-generation smartphone that you purchase will utilize mSAP technology.

PCB Design, Fabrication and Use from the Mil-Aero End-User Perspective

08/28/2018 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The procedures described for Rolls Royce were directly comparable with those described for MBDA, and the presenters were unanimous in re-emphasising the importance of working closely with their chosen PCB fabricators at all levels and all stages of design, qualification and production of their circuit boards.



Copyright © 2018 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.