I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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The USMCA trade agreement was just the tip of the iceberg in news affecting our industry this week. As H. Ross Perot predicted when I was a few years out of college, the U.S. lived to regret signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the new USMCA is designed to right NAFTA’s wrongs.

We also saw more young people getting involved in the industry, an HDP User Group webinar on automotive thermal issues, and more questions for our own Happy Holden—this time, on stacked microvia reliability, or the lack thereof.

With all of the craziness around—some states opening up and others clamping down again due to rising COVID-19 numbers—the innovation in PCB design and manufacturing continues. Next week, check the Friday edition of our Daily Newsletter for Nolan Johnson’s picks.

IPC: Shawn DuBravac and Chris Mitchell on USMCA
Published July 2

On July 1, the USMCA trade act was phased in, and that same day, Nolan Johnson interviewed two IPC experts in that field: Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac and VP of Global Government Affairs Chris Mitchell. This is a can’t-miss interview for everyone involved in the electronics industry.

Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors
Published June 30

For years, IPC has been spearheading the drive to attract more young people into electronics manufacturing. As Charlene Gunter du Plessis explains, IPC has elected Paige Fiet, president of an IPC Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University, as its first Board of Directors Student Member Liaison. We have to reach more young people, and the best way to reach them is with other young people who are already involved in the industry. Smart move by IPC.

Materials for Automotive Applications: Thermal Management Issues
Published July 2

It’s summertime, and it’s getting hot! Technical Editor Pete Starkey attended the recent HDP User Group Automotive Technology Webinar, and he was particularly impressed with a presentation on thermal management given by Ventec International Group’s Alun Morgan. As Pete comments, thermal challenges are becoming part of even mainstream automotive applications, and insulated metal substrates provide cost-effective options.

June Issue of SMT007: A Snapshot of a Resilient Industry 
Published June 30

We recently asked Tamara Jovanovic, a young hardware engineer with smart baby-bed maker Happiest Baby, to review the June issue of SMT007 Magazine. Tamara discusses the articles on leadership in these COVID-19 times and weaves in personal stories, such as roommates who dubbed her a “ghostbuster” when she brought her oscilloscope home to work remotely. Don’t miss this.

Just Ask Happy: Stacked Microvia Reliability Issues
Published July 1

Our “Just Ask Happy” series is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Holden enjoys answering your questions, and, as befits someone known as “Mr. HDI,” he gets plenty of questions on microvias. In this article, Happy addresses the ongoing reliability challenges related to stacking vias and a few workarounds to use until this problem is solved. If you have a question for Happy, click here.

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Materials for Automotive Applications: Thermal Management Issues

07/02/2020 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
For Pete Starkey, the highlight of the recent HDP User Group Automotive Technology Webinar was Alun Morgan’s presentation on materials for automotive applications. This forward-looking informational session covered the latest developments in automotive standards and automotive electronic packaging.

2020 EIPC Winter Conference, Day 2

03/10/2020 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Rested and refreshed, delegates returned to the conference room for the second day of the 2020 EIPC Winter Conference in Blijdorp, Rotterdam, South Holland. Pete Starkey provides an overview of the presentations and activities from Day 2.

Advances in Substrates for Thermal Management

02/13/2020 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Pete Starkey and Eduardo Benmayor, general manager for Aismalibar, discuss ways in which insulated metal substrates have been modified to relieve stresses on the solder joints of high-end LED assemblies during thermal cycling. Eduardo also describes a range of thermally conductive FR-4 laminates that can be processed like standard FR-4 for applications where thermal dissipation can be maximized without changing the design.



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