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

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I’ve been in Washington, D.C., most of this week, attending and reporting on the IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium. You’ll see more content from me in the weeks and months to come as I sort through and highlight the varied aspects of this ground-breaking event. If you’re in this industry, advanced packaging will affect you, make no mistake about it.

The upshot is that, as an industry, we’re at an inflection point:

  • Semiconductor companies are going to move to advanced packaging whether the PCB manufacturing sector is ready or not 
  • The emergence of UHDI to support advanced packaging will move HDI to the mainstream
  • Advanced packaging capabilities will require significant investment, but is also strategically critical
  • IPC has chosen to expand their mission to include advanced packaging
  • The distinction between semiconductor and PCB products and processes is graying 

Although the symposium was my entire world this past week, it wasn’t the only thing happening. I wasn’t surprised to see you reading about the latest news in military/aerospace, PCB panels, the CHIPS Act implementation, and microvia design. 

Microvias Can Be Stacked in Certain Package Densities
Published October 13 

We recently spoke with Summit Interconnect’s Gerry Partida about a pretty important discovery that his company made: Microvias can be reliably stacked in certain package densities. Microvia failure has been a big issue for fabricators lately, especially military contractors, but as Gerry explains, microvias don’t have to be staggered every time—as long as you do your homework and simulate. 

Boeing-Built SES Satellites Send, Receive First Signals 
Published October 7 

It was a big week for Boeing, which successfully launched the SES-20 and SES-21 satellites. In the company’s announcement, it said the satellites will allow them to support customers in delivering high-quality sports and entertainment to tens of millions of U.S. households “while delivering on our promise to repurpose spectrum to enable U.S. leadership in 5G.” More and better sports coverage? Now that’s something worth mentioning. 

CHIPS Act Implementation Requires Strong Focus on 'Advanced Packaging,' Industry Leaders Say 
Published October 11 

This news item from IPC helped promote the symposium, but the information it contains is still relevant even though the event has concluded. For example, 94% of electronics industry leaders report that improving the performance of semiconductors is increasingly reliant on advanced packaging. And 84% of electronics industry leaders believe government initiatives to bolster the semiconductor supply chain require significant investment in advanced packaging capabilities. It’s encouraging to know that these companies see where PCB manufacturing is headed and are on board with it. I’m really looking forward to writing and reporting more on this fascinating direction for our industry. 

Panel Manufacturers Enact Strict Production Controls to Balance Supply/Demand, 4Q22 Forecast to Drop 
Published October 7

Not all sectors of electronic component manufacturing are in go-go mode at the moment. LCD manufacturers are advising that utilization rates could slip to 60%, which TrendForce says is the lowest level in 10 years. Most panel makers have flipped from operating at a profit to operating at a loss in the second half of 2022. Production reduction plans are currently being implemented, according to the report. For us in the PCB design and manufacturing sectors, this is something to keep our eye on. 

FKN Systek: Singulating Pre-Scored PCB Panels up to 48” Long 
Published October 7

FKN launched the U.S.-made K4000 motorized depanelizer and readers took notice. Given that the start of Q4 in the calendar year is when new equipment is forecast, could it be that panel cutters are on companies’ wishlists this year?


Suggested Items

Understanding the UHDI Market

11/28/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
The more we investigate UHDI in the current market, the more advanced packaging becomes a part of the conversation. Yet there are so many questions to be answered. The I-Connect007 Editorial Team met with Calumet’s Todd Brassard and Meredith LaBeau recently to get answers to these questions and find out where the UHDI market is headed.

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

10/07/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
It’s been a busy week for I-Connect007. Managing Editor Nolan Johnson and I covered PCB West at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and, as you’ll see in my article below the place was packed. We have an article about SMTA International, scheduled for the end of October. I think the trade show season is looking good into 2023. People are done with COVID shutdowns and ready to get back to live trade shows and conferences. We’ll be in Minneapolis to bring you the latest news and technical information. We also have a news report about the European Union committing to craft its own version of America’s CHIPS Act. There’s a great interview with Dana Korf and John Strubbe about the latest innovations in materials at TUC. And columnist Paige Fiet explains why she is committed to making manufacturing “cool” again to help recruit and retain young technologists.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: Novel Laser-based Manufacturing Processes in Automotive Electronics

09/22/2022 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
“Summer is over, now it's back to work!” This was the opening line of the invitation to the 18th EIPC Technical Snapshot webinar, Sept. 14, following the theme of advances in automotive electronics technology, introduced and moderated by EIPC President Alun Morgan. The first presentation, entitled "The fully printed smart component—combining additive manufacturing and sensor printing," came from Jonas Mertin, a thin-film processing specialist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.

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