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


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Some years, the middle of December is marked by a distinct lack of news in PCB design, fabrication and assembly. Much of the industry often takes off around this time to get a head start on the holidays, or to squeeze in a much-needed vacation.

But 2020 is not one of those years. Most of us aren’t traveling anywhere farther than the refrigerator this year, and everyone seems to still be working, albeit from their home offices. And companies in the PCB community continue to make news.

This week, some of our more popular items were related to trade shows, conferences, and DoD PCBs, as well as some good semiconductor market news and a name change for a big EDA company.

We’ve all been through a lot of changes this year—don’t even get me started! But I’ve enjoyed bringing you the news and information that you all need to know during these crazy times.

I hope you all have a great holiday!  

 

Dr. John Mitchell on IPC APEX EXPO Going Virtual
Published December 16

In this breaking interview, Barry Matties, and IPC President and CEO John Mitchell discuss the organization’s decision to switch IPC APEX EXPO to an all-virtual platform in March. We hate to see this kind of thing happen, but with the global COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, IPC is doing the right thing. How would you like to be a trade show manager in 2020?

Mentor Officially Changes Name to Siemens EDA
Published December 14

Mentor, a Siemens business, will be known as Siemens EDA as of January 2021. The company remains a part of Siemens Digital Industries Software. This change has been in the works for a while, as the company wraps up the integration of Mentor into the Siemens community. This may be the final nudge needed for those of us who still refer to the company as Mentor Graphics.

Defense Speak Interpreted: What’s a VITA?
Published December 15

Denny Fritz has a great column on military PCBs. Have you ever wondered how military technicians swap out failed PCBs quickly? How do defense depots keep enough PCBs on hand for the many systems in use, especially during times of heavy training or combat? As Denny explains, the DoD has been worrying about the “quick change” issue for decades, and much of their plan revolves around so-called “VITA” standards, which cover everything from tech requirements to patent policies.

Happy Holden: ECWC15 Virtual Event a Success
Published December 15

Our own Happy Holden gave a keynote presentation at the 15th Electronic Circuits World Convention. He’s attended every one of these events since 1988, but this was his first time attending virtually. In this article, Happy reviews the presentations by fellow keynote speakers, Dr. Hayao Nakahara of N.T. Information Ltd. and James Tam of Bosch, as well as his own talk on the subject of vertical conductive structures (VeCS), a new process which permits the routing of traces vertically through the PCB stackup.

Semiconductor Equipment Consensus Forecast: Record Growth Ahead
Published December 16

In a bit of good news for a related industry, SEMI is predicting record growth in sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment over the next few years. SEMI’s Year-end Total Semiconductor Equipment Forecast—OEM Perspective puts that total market segment at $72 billion in 2021 and $76 billion in 2022. The organization also projects that China, Taiwan, and Korea will take the lead in semiconductor equipment investment this year.

 

    

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Looking back to my notes from IPC APEX 2020, I noticed one of my comments: There were so many interesting sessions that I often found myself in the position of choosing between several that I wanted to attend in the same timeslot. This year was not any different in that regard. I am purposely glossing over the fact that I, like many of my friends, missed the camaraderie and opportunity to catch up in person while attending these technical sessions, and I look forward to being able to do that next year.

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