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SMT-May2018

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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 ics assembly/manufacturing process set-up compared to previous generations? Kury: It will certainly require specific compo- nents, therefore, specific testing at the electri- cal but also at the functional level. But from a purely assembly perspective, I believe the impact will be limited. Las Marias: In our conversations with OEMs, one of the critical issues they see impacting the assembly process is indeed the functional testing of 5G devices/systems. Please give your comments on this. Kury: Well, to be honest, any product has its fair share of functional testing specificities creating challenges for any manufacturing/assembly company. The challenge we currently see with existing devices is mostly around functional testing targeted towards mass production: it's relatively easy to test one device at a time. It's another story when you have hundreds of them to test at once, potentially communi- cating with each other already. These aspects must be taken into consideration at the design stage through a thorough design for testability (DFT) analysis targeted towards mass produc- tion, which is something we do on most proj- ects we serve, from the get go. Functional testing requirements can be very complex even without talking about 5G. The objective is to understand what the true require- ments are, and to provide a design proposal that is ready for mass production. To do so, it will require not only to be supported by design firms but more importantly by a manufactur- ing/assembly company integrating these DFT principles into their operations and processes. Las Marias: Ever finer pitches and line spacing will continue especially in 5G devices. What challenges do these present, and how are you addressing them? Kury: Ultra-fine pitch components have been here for quite some time and supporting wear- able or sensor products have required us to adapt to these challenges. I believe we'll still see a lot of that coming within the next few years as 5G will downsize any connected device we can think of. From an assembly standpoint, investing in cutting edge equipment will be key. Our current equipment already supports nanoelectronics placement as well as flexible circuit assembly. Las Marias: How do you see the future of 5G? Do you see it emerging this year? Kury: I believe we'll really see the push in 2019–2020. This is when, according to major telecommunication service providers, 5G will start being accessible and affordable to a good share of the population, at least in the United States. This will be one of the major criteria to 5G adoption, and therefore to the success of connected industries—self-driving cars, smart cities, etc. Las Marias: Thank you, Mathieu. Kury: Thank you. SMT007 Mathieu Kury

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