PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Nov2020

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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team The I-Connect007 editorial team spoke with GreenSource Fabrication's Alex Stepinski, VP and officer, and Rick Day, product engineer, about plating capabilities, new equipment de- velopments, and how best to create more plat- ing flexibility in a shop. Barry Matties: Let's start with today's plating challenges that people face. Alex Stepinski: It starts with the end-user. In copper plating, from our end-users, the most feedback that we see is associated with the ability to plate shut higher aspect ratio struc- tures. The higher the aspect ratio—whether it is a blind microvia or a through-hole—gives that more design latitude. That's one driver. Another driver is the stacked microvias that increase density and the ability to do any lay- er. All of the plating processes required to sup- port both of these design approaches seem to be the biggest needs that the market brings to us to address. Rick Day: There's a very strong thermal man- agement drive. People are asking more and more for vias. Not only that, but this is linked in with a higher density circuitry, and then they also need to use verticals—the fluid dy- namics and plating vertical through-hole in the vertical mode conflict. You need to have spe- cial equipment and—to a lesser extent—spe- cial electrolytes. That's the challenge. Matties: Happy, what do you think are some of the challenges that are out there today? Happy Holden: They've always been uniformi- ty and throwing power. We wanted special- ized plating baths that would throw more into the hole than on the surface because we're go- ing through sequential lamination, and we still have to etch the circuitry on the surface of the board. Aspect ratio and ductility are important, but the big thing in the last 20 years has been plating vias solid so that it was easier to stack, and we didn't have to use resins to fill them and then cap plate. But it has always been one of the hearts of making a PCB. It's relatively easy to drill all kinds of aspect ratios, but it's not so easy to metallize them reliably. Matties: Alex, in one of our last conversations, you talked about reaching what I would de- scribe as record-setting aspect ratio achieve- GreenSource Fabrication Creates Plating Flexibility Alex Stepinski

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