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Design007-Apr2020

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80 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 3D dimension with over the top (OTT) inter- connection of high-speed signals, novel 3D in- terconnections, and backplane structures that allowed us to demonstrate 40-Gbps data rates through two copper wires over a distance of a meter through two connectors. That was in Oc- tober of 2003. All of those concepts have found or are now finding their way into products. The Occam process, which I rolled out for consideration by the industry in 2007, is still waiting to get some consideration by design- ers and manufacturers who find themselves stymied by the limitations of current technol- ogy that relies on solder to make interconnec- tions between components and circuits. Such an approach could prospectively save a sub- stantial amount of money by reducing both the X-Y dimensions and circuit layer counts of the assemblies while integrating thermal manage- ment and increasing reliability. Fortunately, it appears that some fertile ground has finally been found where these ideas may be able to take root in the U.S. and in Europe. I look for- ward to keeping those with interest informed from time to time through my future shared thoughts and observations. On a personal closing note, I would like to share an observation a dear and wise friend once shared with me: "One really only needs three things to enjoy a full life: something to do, something to look forward to, and friends." I am fortunate enough to have many in each category, and the only thing I can add to that list is good health, especially at this moment in history. Stay safe and stay well! FLEX007 Editor's note: Click here to read a related interview titled "Joe Fjelstad Breaks Down His Occam Process." Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an international authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. ing band regardless of the end-product. The decisions made by designers are critical to suc- cess. The phrase "garbage in, garbage out" was coined by computer programmers, but it can be applied to design as well. It is simply not possible to make a 3D model of an Escher drawing (though it is entertaining to think about). Thus, one important prescription for increas- ing profitability must include the education of designers to the realities of manufacturing, in- cluding assembly. In this regard, truly skilled designers are increasingly designing with man- ufacturing rather than designing for manufac- turing (DFM). In the past, major OEMs were vertically in- tegrated. In such environments, designers typi- cally had a chance to interface internally with manufacturing engineers to check in advance and see if what they wanted to do was possible. On many occasions, what the designer wanted wasn't really possible at the moment, but by simply asking the question, they caused manu- facturing engineers to reconsider the challenge and often alter their thinking as to what was possible. In that regard, the interaction between designer and manufacturing engineer created a springboard for process innovation and im- provement. Not every attempt to integrate into a new process was a success, but each one was a learning event. To quote another author and seminal thinker of the last century, T.S. Elliot, "Only those who will risk going too far can pos- sibly find out how far one can go." Going too far is not a bad thing. Stretch- ing out our limits is key to making progress. I have been challenging others in the electronics manufacturing industry for over a quarter-cen- tury to think in new ways through my various startup activities. In 1990, at Extended Length Flex (ELF) Technologies, we created a roll-to- roll machine and process to direct print cata- lytic toner on a flexible material web and plate it with copper. At Tessera in the mid-'90s, we developed the micro-BGA and fan-out wafer-level packaging concepts; in the process, we helped to usher in CSP technology. At Silicon Pipe in 2001, we re-envisioned electronic interconnection in the

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