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?


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

11/11/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
The industry news cycle seems to be picking up speed lately. Of course, 30 days into the quarter is about when public companies announce their results, and in the midst of this worldwide financial situation, we’ve got all eyes on anything coming out from our counterparts in the industry. I’ve noticed that global corporate results (Nan Ya PCB and TTM, in particular) do seem to be on everyone’s radar. In addition to financial news, trade shows are popping back up around the world—Europe, India, and a special report from editor Andy Shaughnessy, who took his own road trip to Raleigh, reporting on PCB Carolina, which had its own heyday this year.

Michael Carano: A Focus on Process Control, Part 2

09/28/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
In this second half of our conversation, Michael Carano discusses some of the metrics that fabricators need to consider before investing in new processes, especially process control technologies, and some of the challenges board shops face updating brownfield sites.

A Focus on Process Control, Part 1

09/27/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Michael Carano is a noted subject matter expert with respect to process control, electroplating and metallization technology, surface finishing, and reliability. So, it was only natural that we sat down to talk about mechanizing an existing facility given today’s fickle environment. Will any of the CHIPS funding trickle down to bare board fabrication? What process can be adjusted on the factory floor? The focus needs to be more than just on manufacturing and getting work out the door, he says, but also process control.

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