Trailblazing Substrates in PCB Fabrication


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Todd Brassard, vice president and COO at Calumet Electronics, participated not only in the IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium in Washington, D.C., Oct. 11-13, but also met with congressional staffers at the Capitol during his visit. Todd does not back down from a challenge, and the one in front of him is no different. It’s why his company is at the forefront of the conversation, and he plans to keep it that way.

Nolan Johnson: Calumet is showing up repeatedly in the conversation around advanced packaging; you’re established as a company at the forefront. Meredith LaBeau, your chief technology officer, was mentioned and sat on a panel here. You’ve been talking to Senate staff on the Hill as well. That’s a lot of activity. What’s your takeaway?

Todd Brassard: This is the first time IPC has done a microelectronics symposium; today was a new venture for them. There seems to be more than 100 companies here. I am pleasantly surprised and encouraged by the conversations, the depth of the information and the insights that are being shared, and the uniformity of the problem. We’ve seen discussion from the most advanced technologies right down to the fundamentals, and the messaging is consistent: We need to do it in the U.S., and we need to do it fast. There are potentially imminent threats developing, and we must be capable of producing the technologies that keep the country safe and keep the country competitive.

Johnson: It seems like the motivation is strong to ask Calumet how this works and how to get there. You are blazing a trail.

Brassard: If you listen to the dialogue, you hear a variety of “PCB shops can participate or PCB shops can’t participate. They should; they shouldn’t.” We feel that maybe it’s not for every PCB shop, but it’s certainly not out of the bounds for those PCB shops that want to advance. Where substrates are today, that’s where PCBs will be a decade from now. Miniaturization will continue. Things will get smaller. Maybe someday the substrate won’t be the interposer, but the PCB will be the interposer. Because everything is built at the microelectronic scale and the PCB just scales it up to interface with the system. There are many reasons for a PCB shop to explore what they’re interested in.

Johnson: Excellent. Thanks.

Brassard: Thank you, Nolan.

To read more about this symposium, click here.

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