NEMI Publishes Research Priorities Document

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Herndon, Va. — The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) has published a research priorities document intended to serve as a resource to all who are tasked with directing R&D (both funding and execution) for the electronics manufacturing industry.

The 2003 NEMI Research Priorities document is said to facilitate more focused investments and an improved rate of return. Completed at the end of 2003, the document presents the consensus on R&D needs identified in the 2002 NEMI Roadmap.

This document is part of a proven planning methodology NEMI has established to ensure that its members focus on high-impact areas where they can make a difference in the marketplace. This process involves five basic steps:

  • Create industry roadmaps by drawing on the expertise of a broad cross-section of individuals from industry, academia and government.
  • Identify the major areas on which NEMI will focus, based on need, participation and ability to make a business impact.
  • Conduct gap analyses on the areas identified in order to determine where industry needs fall short of capabilities, and also to identify those areas where there are meaningful opportunities for industry.
  • Create the five-year NEMI technical plan, which identifies the projects and activities necessary to close the identified gaps. (These plans form the basis for the creation of NEMI projects.)
  • Prioritize research needs identified by the NEMI roadmap and gap analysis activities, creating the NEMI research priorities document, which is distributed to members as well as to key funding agencies, universities and industry.

The 2003 NEMI Research Priorities organizes the R&D needs identified by the 2002 NEMI Roadmap into five categories: manufacturing processes, systems integration, energy, materials and design. Highlights of top priorities identified for each of these areas are as follows:

Manufacturing processes

  • More cost-effective electrical test methods.
  • More flexible assembly equipment for low volume, high mix, high yield board products, including data-driven solder deposition methods.

Systems integration

  • Interoperability standards for matching of vendor/supplier hardware for increased competition.
  • Improved data transport standards to support data protocols.


  • Lower-voltage components and assemblies.
  • Higher-energy density/specific energy power supplies, batteries and fuel cells.


  • Substrate materials with improved dimensional stability, planarity, low moisture absorption and warpage.
  • Improved interfacial adhesion and strength between Cu/low k and wire bonds, bumps and underfill.


  • Improved design tools for optoelectronics, MEMS and other emerging technologies.
  • Integrated design and simulation tools needed for mixed mode wireless chips and modules.

A final section on disruptive technologies examines how newly discovered phenomena may be exploited to provide innovative technology solutions for identified needs. In particular, this section describes possible future areas for exploiting nanotechnology to create innovative new products. The 2003 NEMI Research Priorities document can be downloaded from the NEMI Web site

The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's mission is to assure leadership of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain. For more information, visit



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