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


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In the news this week we found a synchrony of topics. Much of the world is aware of the speaking points from U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this past Tuesday. In that speech, President Biden talked prominently about U.S. legislation in process to bring more technology manufacturing back to the states. In fact, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was not only an invited guest, but was referred to directly in the speech as a positive example. I can only assume that President Biden meant that moment to be a motivator for other CEOs in the industry.

But President Biden’s speech only went so far in his mentions. We in the printed circuit manufacturing industry know that semiconductors aren’t useful until you can connect them to the entire system. Funding chips alone will not be enough. Organizations such as IPC and PCBAA are working to help legislators in the U.S. (and globally, in IPC’s case) understand that critical attention and development thought needs to be focused on the printed circuit portion of the supply chain if they want the semiconductor investment to be successful.

The March issue of SMT007 Magazine was released this week. This month, we looked at the strategic investment environment in the U.S. and internationally. It is our intention to help move this conversation forward—not for political reasons, but for the good­ and resilience of our industry worldwide. Please give it a read.

My other favorite picks this week include:

IPC Applauds Biden’s Focus on Semiconductors, Urges Passage of Competitiveness Legislation 
Published March 2

Released to the press on the day of President Biden’s State of the Union address, IPC highlighted the anticipated sections that would address our industry. IPC pledged to “continue to work with the Biden’s Administration to strengthen America’s semiconductor supply chain and urges the swift passage of competitiveness legislation to help expand the domestic semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries.” I don’t have to say much more about why this is so important.

Northrop Grumman Develops Prototype Constellation Supporting Joint All-Domain Command 
Published March 1

From the press release, “Northrop Grumman leveraged its commercial marketplace partnerships to deliver a rapid, affordable, highly-effective solution for SDA. “We’ve fully embraced SDA’s rapid, go-to-market spirit. It’s this vision for speed that allows us to field an innovative system quickly,” said Blake Bullock, vice president, communication systems, Northrop Grumman.” The U.S. Department of Defense has been working diligently on its communications systems between military units, and this is a welcome solution.

SEMI Survey Highlights U.S. Chip Industry Competitiveness, Government Investment 
Published February 28

SEMI highlights three primary takeaways from the survey, intended to identify the challenges facing the semiconductor industry:

  • Invest in the Entire Semiconductor Ecosystem
  • Public and Private Funding is Key
  • Invest in Multi-Generational Workforce Initiatives

Not unsurprisingly, these are the same takeaways as we find in the PCB manufacturing ecosystem as well. Read the article for more details.

North American EMS Industry Down 6% in January 
Published February 28

Don’t panic too quickly. Though total North American EMS shipments in January 2022 were down 6% compared to the same month last year, the book-to-bill ratio stands, however, at 1.58. Click through to read all the details on IPC’s EMS Shipments report.

IPC: North American PCB Industry Sales Up 7.7% in January 
Published February 25

Shawn DuBravac, IPC chief economist, says “We believe supply chain constraints will continue to slowly ease through the remainder of the year which should help companies improve shipment schedules.” We’re not out of the woods yet, but there are positive signs of recovery.

David Pogue Keynote Opens IPC APEX EXPO 2022 
Published February 28

Pete Starkey’s inimitable reporting style brings Pogue’s keynote to life. It’s as simple as that. Readers flocked to this particular news item as well. In fact, reads were high enough to make this one article, the keynote report from our special Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO Show & Tell Magazine a statistical outlier. I just had to include it. I’m going to be talking about this issue a lot, because there’s much to be gained from our coverage of the show. If you were there, you’ll see what I mean. If you weren’t, you won’t feel like you missed a beat.

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