EuroTech: Reporting on the Institute of Circuit Technology Spring Seminar

There has long been debate over the exact location of the geographical centre of England, but the village of Meriden has traditionally laid claim to the title, and it offered an appropriate Midlands venue for the Institute of Circuit Technology 2017 Spring Seminar, which followed the Annual General Meeting of the Institute. 

Thomas_Jones.jpgIntroduced by ICT Treasurer Chris Wall, the seminar programme commenced with a presentation from Dr. Tom Jones, Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University, who discussed the results of a research project carried out jointly with Merlin Circuit Technology to investigate how copper electrodeposition in via interconnects could be enhanced by megasound acoustic agitation. 

It had been demonstrated that, with megasonic-assisted plating, higher-aspect ratio via holes could be incorporated in high-layer-count multilayer builds, simplifying the construction and   reducing the number of bonding and drilling operations required. In his 26-layer example, bonding operations had been reduced from six to four, and drilling operations from ten to six. 

Megasonic agitation enabled higher limiting currents to be achieved, by reducing the Nernst diffusion layer thickness from the 600-micron to the 0.6-micron level, and gave greatly improved solution circulation within small holes, as Dr. Jones illustrated with high-speed video of microbubbles penetrating into a high-aspect-ratio 40-micron through-hole. He showed a series of examples produced on his experimental set-up at Merlin PCB Technology, comparing the effects of no agitation, conventional air and panel agitation, and megasonic agitation, using for purposes of demonstration a conventional non-filling copper chemistry and both simple DC and reverse-pulse rectification. The megasonically agitated examples showing substantial improvements in throwing power. 

But although megasonic plating assistance gave some clear benefits inside via holes, it could lead to some interesting but potentially undesirable surface effects. Dr Jones explained how surface acoustic waves induced unwanted variations in plated copper topography, in the form of ridges on surfaces and ringlets around holes, with a pitch related to the wavelength of the megasonic agitation. The thickness variations had been shown to correspond with changes in grain structure resulting from alternate concentration and depletion of additives. These resonance effects could be overcome by acoustic modulation techniques, although the impact on plating enhancements had not yet been investigated. 

Peter_Dombromylski.jpgThere have been many presentations at ICT seminars related to the rapidly accelerating adoption of LED lighting in automotive, industrial, municipal and domestic applications, but these have generally concerned substrates and materials, with an emphasis on efficiency and thermal management. LED devices sold in Europe carry a “CE” marking—what does it signify, and what are the supplier’s responsibilities and obligations? LED expert Peter Dobromylski, Technical Sales Manager of LUX-TSI, unravelled the mysteries of CE marking compliance for LED lighting products. 

He explained that “CE,” an abbreviation of Conformité Européene, was introduced in the 93/68/EEC Directive in 1993, as the basis for demonstrating that a product met minimum standards of safety and performance, ensuring protection of the end user and expected performance and reliability in normal use. 

Quality of lighting, particularly in the workplace, was extremely important for the wellbeing and performance of the workforce, and Dobromylski described the effect of light on the circadian rhythm, a natural cycle regulating many physiological processes. He demonstrated the difference in the “flicker effect” between two nominally similar LED light bulbs, the “bad” example showing a distinct stroboscopic effect when a pencil was waved in front of it. The human eye had evolved to respond to natural light with a spectral peak at 555 nm, but LED light had an additional peak at about 460nm, which was not visible and presented a photobiological hazard that required to be assessed during the CE certification process, and labelled for eye safety when a Risk Group 2 hazard was determined to exist. 

For LED products for use in general lighting applications the route for CE marking was through self-certification, and involved a process of identifying the applicable directives, the conformity assessment and the relevant standards, ensuring that the product complied, identifying whether independent assessment was required, maintaining the technical document file, preparing the document of conformity, affixing the CE mark and suppling instructions. 

Key directives were the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) - 2014/35/EU, the Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive - 2014/30/EU, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) Directive - 2011/65/EC and the Eco Design Directive (ERP) - 2009/125/EC. Applicable standards were: Safety - IEC 62560 (Lamps), IEC 60598 (Luminaires), IEC 62031 (LED Modules) and IEC 61347 (Drivers, Ballasts and Gear). Photobiological - IEC 62471/62778 (LED Packages, LED Modules, Lamps and Luminaires). Electro Magnetic Effects (EMC/F) - IEC/EN 62493 (Lamps and Luminaires), CISPR 15 ed8.0 (2013-05), IEC 61547 ed2.0 (2009-06), IEC 61000-3-2 ed4.0 (2014-02), IEC 61000-3-3 ed3.0 (2013-05). 

Once the manufacturer was confident that the product met all the requirements, “Is it safe? Will it do the job? Will it deliver the savings I expect over life?” he could declare the conformance and apply the CE mark. It was stressed, however, that the self-certification process was not rigorously policed!  

Jim_Francey.jpgJim Francey, Sales Manager Northern Europe for Optiprint AG, announced that a significant opportunity existed to use PCB technology as an alternative to systems based on low-temperature co-fired ceramic in future 5G cellular mobile communication networks, where it was it was expected that millimetre-wave radio architectures would be employed to ease “spectrum congestion” in current 4G and earlier configurations. 

With reference to Optiprint’s collaboration in the FP7 MiWaveS project, he discussed the technology needed to satisfy interconnect and antenna requirements related to the use of PCB for access-point and wireless backhaul to provide mobile access up to 5 Gbps peak and 250 Mbps of typical data rate per user. The use of millimetre-wave radios and directive antennas in short-distance links would result in a reduced emitted power requirement, more efficient transmitter implementation and a better efficiency of the spectrum usage, as well as reducing people’s exposure to microwave radiation. 

Organic, as opposed to ceramic, substrates offered an attractive solution for millimetre-wave hardware interconnect and antennae, with mature PCB fabrication and assembly technologies and numerous fabricators and assemblers, although from a PCB manufacturing perspective the effective distribution and propagation of signals in millimetre wavelengths placed critical demands on the choice and thickness of substrates and the dimensional and positional accuracy of PCB features: “It’s all about managing losses and maintaining consistency” and “Most of the loss in millimetre-wave is in the conductor” 

Liquid crystal polymer had been recognised as a technology-enabling substrate, not only for its low-loss characteristics but because it was available both as thin non-reinforced laminates with low-profile copper, and as bond-plies for thermoplastic fusion bonding at 290°C. But laser-based metrology was necessary to quantify material movement at multiple process stages and maintain critical layer-to layer registration. Likewise, LDI was the essential imaging technique. 

Microstrip, stripline and co-planar waveguide transmission line technologies were all deployed in millimetre-wave PCB design, but increasingly designers were using substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) technology, which had the benefits of lower losses and component performance approaching that of conventional air-filled waveguides, with the additional advantages of low radiation leakage and interference. 

Francey showed examples of beam-switching Rotman Lens antennae which at 1GHz would be huge but were economically attractive at millimetre-wave frequencies, typically 75 mm across, with the advantage of being planar and unobtrusive rather than in the form of a horn.

Component packaging technology was evolving to meet the needs of the millimetre-wave industry, and the embedded wafer-level ball grid array (eWLB) was now available for frequencies up to 86GHz. Flip-chipping of monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC) was another promising technology for high performance millimetre-wave interconnects. For some MMIC devices like very high power amplifiers, designers had no option but to use bare-die, mounted in laser-machined recesses and gold-wire or gold-ribbon bonded, to minimise losses and inductance. Silver-based, rather than nickel-based conductor finishes were preferred to minimise losses: autocatalytic silver immersion gold gave good results and was wire-bondable. 

In his summary, Francey reminded delegates that PCB technology was a viable and cost-effective alternative to low-temperature co-fired ceramic, but made it clear that fabricators would require a high level of expertise in thin-core processing and fine-line close-tolerance imaging and etching, together with the capability to manage variable material movement. He listed the facilities he considered essential for success: off-contact metrology, clean-room conditions, liquid resist with laser direct imaging, laser machining, automatic alignment systems for drilling, milling and routing, controlled-depth drilling and milling, and plasma treatment, together with the right systems to test and inspect. Above all, a culture for working with small-form, high-precision components. 

Martin_Goosey.jpgPromising that this would be the final wrap-up of the MACFEST project, Professor Martin Goosey summarised the outcome of the Innovate UK supported project to develop new PCB solderable finishes deposited from ionic liquids, which had followed-on from the European Commission funded ASPIS project. 

MACFEST had been a two-year project that concluded at the end of 2016. Novel metal coating processes had been developed and the deposits evaluated as solderable finishes. Ionic liquid chemistries had been used to deposit good quality palladium and gold coatings onto conventional electroless nickel and the results had been very promising with good solderability and performance comparable to that of coatings deposited from aqueous chemistries. 

The coatings developed in the MACFEST project also had the potential to reduce environmental impacts through the elimination of cyanide-based aqueous chemistries and to reduce the amount of palladium consumed, whilst meeting the requirements of the industry and current IPC standards and eliminating known reliability issues with nickel-palladium-gold coatings, for example black pad, brittle joints and void formation. Professor Goosey was currently looking at other funding routes to take the project forward. The initial project was a relatively low Technology-Readiness-Level research project with much of the fundamental work done by the University of Leicester. There was a need to move towards larger scale trials in a working PCB fabricator environment. He was considering applying for Horizon 2020 funding as and when an appropriate call was available.  

He reiterated the benefits of ICT’s Engagement in R&D Projects–a way for the ICT to be directly involved with the development of new technology, with benefits for members in gaining access to new developments and information, as well as being a source of additional income for the Institute.  

Francesca_Stern.jpgMarket analyst and ICT Council member Francesca Stern rounded off the proceedings with her review of the UK PCB industry for 2016 and outlook for 2017. 

Total UK PCB production in 2016 was £122M (slightly down on 2015 although imports had increased), categorised by technology: Multilayer 34%, HDI 17%, D/S PTH 17%, Rigid-Flex 13%, IMS 4%, Flex 3%, and by market sector: Industrial/Instrumentation 40%, Military and Government 15%, Civil Aerospace 12%, Communications 8%, Automotive 4.8%, Space 3.5%, Medical 2.4%. 

The UK market for PCBs in 2016 was £174M, up from £168M in 2105, categorised by sector: Industrial/Instrumentation 40%, Military and Government 15%, Civil Aerospace 10%, Communications 6.3%, Automotive 4.2%, Medical 3.2%, Space 2.7%. 

UK electronics production had been on a growth curve since the end of 2016, and this would likely continue until the end of 2017. By comparison, German year-on-year production had declined slightly but was forecast to return to positive growth during 2017. 

Although the PCB business in the UK is these days a comparatively small and specialised industry, it is characterised by a very special camaraderie and sense of community. The membership of the ICT continues to grow and this seminar proved once more to be not only a platform for sharing knowledge and inspiring future developments, but equally an opportunity to renew acquaintances, make new ones, share industry news and gossip and build the network. As is usual, the network-building continued well into the evening… 

I am grateful to Alun Morgan for kindly allowing me to use his photoraphs. 

Pete Starkey is technical editor with I-Connect007.

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2017

EuroTech: Reporting on the Institute of Circuit Technology Spring Seminar

03-21-2017

There has long been debate over the exact location of the geographical centre of England, but the village of Meriden has traditionally laid claim to the title, and it offered an appropriate Midlands venue for the Institute of Circuit Technology 2017 Spring Seminar, which followed the Annual General Meeting of the Institute.

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EuroTech: Raw Materials Supply Chain—Critical Challenges Facing the PCB Industry

02-08-2017

In response to growing concern from members about cost increases and potential availability restrictions affecting copper-clad laminate and prepreg supplies, the EIPC 2017 Winter Conference in Salzburg included a special panel discussion on critical issues facing the raw materials supply chain for the PCB industry worldwide, particularly the availability of copper foil as a consequence of rapidly increasing demand from the manufacturers of lithium batteries for electric vehicles.

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EuroTech: ENIPIG—Next Generation of PCB Surface Finish

01-30-2017

MACFEST is a multi-partner project co-funded by Innovate UK to develop an electroless nickel/immersion palladium/immersion gold (ENIPIG) “universal surface finish” for printed circuit boards. Project partners are University of Leicester, MTG Research, C-Tech Innovation, A-Gas Electronic Materials, Merlin Circuit Technology and the Institute of Circuit Technology.

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2016

EuroTech: Institute of Circuit Technology Northern Seminar 2016, Harrogate

12-08-2016

A new location for the Institute of Circuit Technology Northern Seminar: Harrogate, the elegant and historic spa town in North Yorkshire, England. And an impressive venue: the chandeliered drawing room of the palatial and stately Majestic Hotel, dating from the Victorian era.

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2014

Top 10 SMT Tech Tuesday Articles of 2014

12-30-2014

Technical Editor Pete Starkey presents his list of the top 10 SMT Tech Tuesday articles for 2014. The year's topics cover a wide range and include printed electronics, lead-free processes, preventing tin whiskers, stencil printing challenges, and thermal management issues.

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Top 10 PCB Tech Tuesday Articles of 2014

12-30-2014

Another year has come and gone. To mark a year of innovations, Technical Editor Pete Starkey presents his list of the top 10 Tech Tuesday articles for 2014. Each item on the list provided innovative information to the industry.

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An Inside Look: 3D AOI of Electronic Assemblies Seminar

12-16-2014

This UK event brought together experts from leading AOI suppliers, to discuss and explain different approaches to three-dimensional inspection and to present the latest in technology to those with a collective interest in yield improvement, process control, and quality assurance. All were welcomed by SMART Group Chairman Keith Bryant, who introduced the speakers and moderated the panel discussions. Pete Starkey reports.

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J-STD-001 & IPC-A-610 Updates for Conformal Coating: An Insider's Guide

12-09-2014

SMART Group recently offered a "direct from the committee" technical guide to the changes being made to J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610, presented by Doug Pauls, Principal Materials and Process engineer at Rockwell Collins and chair of IPC Cleaning and Cleanliness Committees, in a webinar organized and moderated by Bob Willis. Technical Editor Pete Starkey reports.

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Institute of Circuit Technology's 2014 Darlington Seminar

11-25-2014

Editor Pete Starkey recently made a trip to the Northeast of England for the Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) annual Darlington Seminar. Highlights included a presentation from Ventec's Martin Cotton on practical design considerations for high-speed PCBs--"Design once, make many times" was his main message--and a talk from Dr. Andrew Cobley addressing the rise of wearable technology.

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HASLEN: An Obituary to Black Pad

10-28-2014

A webinar recently presented by ITRI Innovation introduced a new solderable finish known as HASLEN, which combines features of two established technologies to deposit solder directly on to electroless nickel by hot air solder leveling, and made possible by novel fluxes based on deep eutectic solvents. The HASLEN finish claims to reduce cost and offer overall improvements in the longevity and reliability of PCB assemblies when compared with ENIG. Pete Starkey reports.

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SMART Group Webinar: Advances in AOI technology

10-22-2014

SMART Group recently presented a webinar to clarify the fundamentals of AOI technology and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment options currently available. Chairman Keith Bryant drew upon many years' experience as a specialist in X-ray and AOI techniques to give a clear and comprehensive overview, with detailed explanations of attributes and applications.

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Update An Inside Look: UK Collaborative Research Project Dissemination Conference

10-14-2014

The headquarters of the Surface Engineering Association in Birmingham, UK, was the venue for a one-day conference to disseminate the results of a number of UK and European collaborative research and development projects with direct relevance to the electronics manufacturing, surface engineering, and metal finishing industries. Pete Starkey reports

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Up Close: ICT's Hayling Island, UK Seminar

09-30-2014

"Manufactured in the UK" was the theme of this year's Institute of Circuit Technology Hayling Island seminar in Goodwood, UK. Topics ranged from details of the European PCB market and an educational programme aimed at teaching PCB technology in schools to innovations in ink-jet printing, thermal management strategies, and the evolution of solder resist materials. Pete Starkey reports.

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ECWC13:

09-01-2014

First held in London, UK, in 1978, and triennially since then, the 13th Electronic Circuits World Convention came to Nuremberg, Germany, running in parallel with the SMT Hybrid Packaging Exhibition. Technical Editor Pete Starkey reports on the keynote presentations delivered during the event.

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2013

Cleanness Assessment Using Solvent Extract Conductivity to Improve Circuit Reliability

12-11-2013

Technical Editor Pete Starkey reports on an informative webinar presented by Ling Zhou, National Physical Laboratory specialist in electronic circuit reliability and metal-corrosion-induced failure mechanisms, on cleanness assessment using solvent extract conductivity.

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An Inside Look: High-Temperature Electronics Manufacturing

12-04-2013

Moderator Bob Willis explains, "High-temperature electronics is not just about solder, it's about all of the parts that make up an electronics product. Substrates, components, connectors, cables, solders, and assembly processes all need to be considered." Technical Editor Pete Starkey provides an in-depth looks at Willis' latest seminar.

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PCB Technology the Focus of ICT Darlington Seminar

11-12-2013

The Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) Darlington Seminar, held November 5, 2013, was split between advances in PCB technology and the mechanisms available to help promote the transfer of technology and the development of export business. Technical Editor Pete Starkey gives an inside look.

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An Inside Look: SMART Group European Conference 2013, Day 2

10-15-2013

The second--and intensely technical--day of the SMART Group 2013 European Conference highlighted lead-free solders, the return of cleaning, alloy development, failure analysis, and bath process monitoring and control. Technical Editor Pete Starkey concludes his report.

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An Inside Look: SMART Group European Conference 2013, Day 1

10-15-2013

This year's conference hosted eminent guests from the electronics manufacturing community travelling from far and near to network with peers and increase their understanding of material and process selection and yield improvement techniques. Technical Editor Pete Starkey reports on day one.

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IeMRC 8th Annual Conference: Innovation and Sustainability

10-08-2013

The 8th annual conference of the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre (IeMRC) at the UK's Loughborough University featured 11 informative and highly-technical presentations grouped into four sessions: Accelerating Innovation, Flexible Electronics, Sustainability, and Nanoelectronics. Pete Starkey reports.

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ICT Hayling Island Seminar: Young People Don't Lick Stamps

10-01-2013

The ICT Hayling Island Seminar has become a must-attend UK PCB community event. Breaking with tradition this year: The programme offered an alternative to conventional "grey suit brigade" contributions with a focus on the importance of bringing new, younger minds to the industry. Pete Starkey reports.

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Behind the News: Tripod Selects Semblant's Plasma Finish

09-04-2013

Technical Editor Pete Starkey knows what an arduous task it can be to get a new finish recognized, qualified, and specified: "I was favourably impressed to read Semblant's announcement and delighted to then have the opportunity to seek the comments of VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing Steve McClure." Read on to learn more about the company's plasma-based surface treatment process.

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EIPC Summer Conference, Day 2

07-09-2013

A well-rested and bright-eyed audience reassembled for an early start to the second day of the EIPC Summer Conference in Luxembourg and enjoyed an intense programme of 12 technical papers in three sessions: Advanced PCB Research Projects, PCB Design, and Novel Technologies. Pete Starkey continues his in-depth report.

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EIPC Summer Conference, Day 1

07-03-2013

A small landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg covers an area of less than a thousand square miles and has a population of little more than half a million. The world's only remaining grand duchy, with the world's highest gross domestic product per capita, Luxembourg was the location for the 2013 Summer Conference of the European Institute of Printed Circuits. European Editor Pete Starkey reports.

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2012

An Inside Look: ICT's Annual Northern Seminar

11-13-2012

Hartlepool's Historic Quay was the new venue for this year's Institute of Circuit Technology Northern Seminar. Technical Editor Pete Starkey attended this evening seminar and provides a detailed account of the excellent and informative featured presentations. The section on designers' tendency to be "stubbornly resistant to change" alone is worth a read.

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Meeting Soldering Challenges of Miniaturization

11-05-2012

Although minimum solder joint sizes have stabilised in the 0.3 to 0.4 mm range and soldering technology is currently under control, it is projected that joint sizes could reduce to the 0.1 to 0.2 mm range by 2020. What would be the consequences on manufacturability and reliability?

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NPL Webinar: Practical Applications for Nanoelectronics

10-15-2012

The Nanocarbon Electronic Interconnects project is a collaboration between NPL and University of Surrey, aimed at developing characterisation tools for nanointerconnects based on nanocarbon. Researcher Vimal Gopee presented a webinar October 10, 2012 and Technical Editor Pete Starkey fills you in on the many topics covered.

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Invotec and Printed Electronics: The Story Behind the News

10-08-2012

Technical Editor Pete Starkey recently met with Invotec Managing Director Tim Tatton and PEL Technical Director Dr. Neil Chilton at their offices in Tamworth, UK, to discuss the significance of their strengthened partnership and the new opportunities it would create.

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A Walk on the Technical Side: SMART Group's 2012 European Conference, Day 2

10-05-2012

The second day of SMART Group's 2012 European Conference got underway in Thame, Oxfordshire, UK with a second grouping of industry experts ready to present and attendees eager to learn. Technical Editor Pete Starkey made the trip for I-Connect007 and continues his detailed report.

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A Walk on the Technical Side: SMART Group's 2012 European Conference

09-25-2012

Thame, a charming old market town close to the Chiltern Hills in the county of Oxfordshire, was the venue for SMART Group's 2012 European Conference. As always, Technical Editor Pete Starkey made the trip for I-Connect007 and reports, in his usual amazing detail, on the presentations given, new information revealed, and areas of study.

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EIPC's Summer Conference in Milan: Day 2

09-19-2012

The Ramada Plaza in Milan, Italy was venue for the 2012 Summer Conference of the EIPC which drew delegates from 10 European countries, as well as from the U.S. and Israel, to meet, network, and learn from an intense two-day programme of 21 presentations and a factory tour. In his typical fashion, Technical Editor Pete Starkey provides an excellent review of Day Two.

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EIPC's Summer Conference in Milan: Day 1

09-17-2012

The Ramada Plaza in Milan, Italy was venue for the 2012 Summer Conference of the EIPC which drew delegates from 10 European countries, as well as from the U.S. and Israel, to meet, network, and learn from an intense two-day programme of 21 presentations and a factory tour. In his typical fashion, Technical Editor Pete Starkey provides an excellent review of Day One.

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IeMRC Conference: One Day of Education to Last a Lifetime

09-12-2012

Henry Ford College at Loughborough University was quite an appropriate venue for the 7th Annual IeMRC Conference which immersed attendees in a sea of information. Technical Editor Pete Starkey provides in-depth coverage of all presentations given, covering an amazing range of PCB fabrication, design, assembly and packaging, and military/aerospace topics.

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An Inside Look: UK's Hayling Island ICT Seminar

09-07-2012

Thankful for a respite from three months of miserable English summer weather, over 100 printed circuit enthusiasts made the journey to attend the Institute of Circuit Technology (ICT) Seminar in Hayling Island, now firmly established as the venue for a not-to-be-missed annual event on the PCB industry's technical calendar. Pete Starkey details the presentations made.

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2011

An Inside View: The Wurth Elektronik Design Conference

10-19-2011

I spent many years as a PCB fabricator actively encouraging designers to try to understand what we could and could not achieve, what was cost-effective and what not, and to involve us in discussion at the earliest possible stage of the design project. The recent Wurth Elektronik Design Conference in Manchester, UK, seemed to share this objective!

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2010

IeMRC Conference in UK: Five Years of Innovation

09-27-2010

Our European Technical Editor Pete Starkey recently made the journey to Loughborough, UK to attend IeMRC's fifth-annual conference. He reports on a myriad of topics and new technologies addressed, including: Flip-chip bonding; packaging materials for high-temperature electronics; maskless electrochemical pattern transfer in micro-fabrication; and the electrical and morphological characteristics of PEDOT:PSS.

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Adventures in Non-Conformance at SMART Group Seminar

01-26-2010

With Rockwell Collins' high-reliability, flight-critical equipment, non-conformance is a non-starter. Doug Pauls and Dave Hillman of Rockwell Collins shared case studies in non-conformance during their recent SMART Group Seminar keynote address.

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2009

Institute of Circuit Technology's Darlington Seminar a Success

11-05-2009

An enthusiastic audience, and speakers from as far afield as Japan, Germany, Scotland and Cumbria, gathered to share the latest knowledge on high-speed laminates and advanced conductor finishes at ICT's Circuit Technology Seminar on Tuesday.

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Bulk High-Temperature Superconductors for High Field Apps

09-15-2009

At the fourth annual IeMRC conference, David Cardwell, Professor of Superconductor Engineering at the University of Cambridge, gave a presentation illustrated with live demonstrations of magnetic levitation accompanied by dramatic smoke effects from the liquid nitrogen he used to cool his superconductor samples.

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Glass as an HDI Substrate?

09-02-2009

Have you ever considered glass as an HDI substrate? At a recent symposium, Dr. David Hutt of Loughborough University described work being carried out by his team to investigate the practicability of using glass as an alternative to organic substrates in the fabrication of multilayer HDI devices.

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SMART Group Seminar on Materials and Finishes

05-01-2009

"I never realised it was this complicated!" That was just one of the comments overheard during Tuesday's SMART Group seminar on printed circuit materials and finishes, held in Arundel on the south coast of England.

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EIPC Winter Conference Review

02-23-2009

It's rough out there right now. But, as attendees discovered at the EIPC Winter Conference in Amsterdam, many European PCB makers are continuing to innovate through the down cycle.

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The A-Z of Lead-Free Reliability: SMART Group workshop at NPL

01-23-2009

The NPL recently hosted a workshop entitled "A-Z of Lead-Free Reliability," organised under the auspices of SMART Group, which provided the opportunity for members of Hunt's team to update a full-house audience of electronics industry professionals on a series of current NPL investigations and studies, many of which were Joint Industry Projects with external partners.

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2008

Inside the Orbotech European PCB Executive Forum

07-21-2008

Orbotech has evolved in two dimensions--deeper into technologies related to PCB engineering, imaging, inspection, repair and process control and broader into applications in flat panel displays, PCB assembly, recognition solutions and medical imaging.

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Flying Start for National Electronics Week

06-20-2008

With the underlying theme of "Learning & Discovery," NEW brought together over 350 exhibitors to present the latest innovations in electronic design, silicon, hardware systems, software design, components, test tools, assembly equipment, production systems, contract manufacturing services and distribution.

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Europe Update: The 2008 EIPC Summer Conference in Dresden, Germany

06-06-2008

An international audience--83 delegates from 13 countries--of decision makers and leaders of the packaging and interconnection industry, met to exchange information on market trends and technical innovations and enjoyed an intensive program of 23 expert presentations over two days.

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Review: The 34th Annual Symposium of the Institute of Circuit Technology, June 2008

06-05-2008

The 34th Annual Symposium of the Institute of Circuit Technology had a distinctly Scottish flavor. The venue for the symposium was Tweed Horizons on the Scottish borders and the keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Hughes OBE, Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, who spoke with infectious enthusiasm about the opportunities that exist in Scotland's electronics industry.

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