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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.
Shavi Spinzi, Nano Dimension
Imagine fabricating PCBs without the hassle of drilled vias and metal plating. Imagine PCBs with near-perfect registration. If we take it to the next stage, imagine drawing electronics in 3D space. There is a way to do all this with additively manufactured electronics (AME). We just need to start to think in 3D. This will allow us to abandon the 2D limitations that we have become so used to and expand our horizons so that we can climb to higher levels of performance. In this article, I will explore the two fundamental capabilities that are the cornerstones for drawing electronics in 3D space, which is where AME technology and 3D design capabilities converge.
Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
Tom Kastner of GP Ventures is a busy man these days. He’s been involved in several M&A deals, including a recent acquisition by Summit Interconnect. Tom spent some time with Dan Beaulieu, who often consults with PCB and PCBA companies, about what it looks like when a company is thinking of buying or selling—and how a consultant like Tom helps negotiate the best deal.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
In more than one conversation while discussing the industry this week, the themes have included industry turmoil, lots of business opportunities, and the urgent need to build out to meet changing demands. In fact, our July issue of PCB007 Magazine, which publishes later this month, will focus on these very topics. It’s definitely one not to be missed!
These themes also emerged in this week’s top five news items as well. Top stories include an acquisition in the soldering machinery space, sales and service expansion in Mexico, industry data from SIA on semiconductor global sales data, and strong financial numbers from two China-based manufacturers. Now, with the U.S. Congress putting its focus on the PCB industry, things could really heat up. It’s going to be an interesting year.