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Page 36 of 93

SEPTEMBER 2018 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 37 I call the future a technology convergence. All those industries need the same technolo- gy, just in a different configuration, scale and volume. Everyone needs to worry about high- speed signals, power requirements, thermal management, physical size, cost, antennae, fil- ters and mixed-technology hybrid assembly. LCP is also rather unique in that it has low moisture absorption and has the potential for exposed environments, hermetic applications and implantable medical devices. Most of our efforts currently are aimed at characterization with design rule and manu- facturing refinement out to 110 GHz RF and 112 GB digital. As with any new technology, there is a period of time required for dialing in the design rules and refining the production processes needed to ramp volume capability. Long-term reliability requirements vary great- ly from market to market and that is of key in- terest to all. Component obsolescence in the mil/aero industry has also become a major is- sue. By the time a program launches, often- times one or more silicon nodes have passed the technology by and there is significant in- terest in the ability to take state of the today's technology components and arrange them in a meaningful way that fits into a legacy platform without full requalification. Beaulieu: Jim, let's dig a little deeper. What can you tell me about the some of the specific ca- pabilities of your products? Rathburn: When you look at the current line and space capability in the domestic supply base, there are many companies that can pro- duce high-quality 3- to 4-mil line and space multilayer circuits. There is a challenge to pro- duce high-speed multilayer boards with very tightly controlled impedance below 2-mil line and space with conventional materials, and there has been a domestic supply chain gap. LCP has been around for many years but has suffered from reliability and density challenges with multilayer applications. The production launch capability can fabricate 1-mil or 25-mi- cron line and space LCP circuit stacks with up to as many 20 layers in flex, rigid-flex, sub- strates, modules and multilayer boards. We are also launching our next generation technolo- gy that pushes the line and space capabilities to nine microns, with added capabilities like embedding coaxial signal lines, embedding ac- tive and passive components and high-speed functional test at the die level during assembly. Beaulieu: Tell our readers something about your and the team's expertise. Rathburn: Our expertise at HSIO is fundamen- tally electrical interconnects but extends to un- derstanding how our customers need to inter- connect everything in a system, not only today but in the future. The next step is to create a technology that is based on sound manufactur- ing processes but also not just another version of what is already available. The material LCP has some great properties, but it is the way it is used as part of the manufacturing process that Figure 2: Cross-section of 12-layer LCP rigid-flex with solid full metal microvias.

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