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34 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 Feature by Dan Beaulieu I love innovative companies and keeping up with what they are doing. One of the most cre- ative and innovative companies in our indus- try is HSIO Technologies, founded by entrepre- neur and inventor James Rathburn. Based in Maple Grove, Minnesota, this company stays at the cutting edge of the electronics industry's technology. Leveraging extensive interconnect device knowledge with proven semiconductor fabrication, printed circuit fabrication, and mi- croelectronic assembly processes enables them to quickly develop cost-effective, high-perfor- mance interconnect solutions across a wide variety of form factors. I checked in with Jim recently to see what he and his team are up to and learned how they are using liquid crystal polymers and other materials to focus on in- creasing high-speed and high-density PCBs for uses in all markets. Dan Beaulieu: Jim, for the readers who might not be familiar with HSIO, tell us a little bit about it. James Rathburn: I founded the company in 2010 and launched it with an investment from part- ners from a previous company called Gryphics Inc ., which we sold in 2007. The previous com- pany produced high-performance test sockets for the semiconductor industry . The customer base was reaching a point where the signal integrity of the system PCB and package substrate were de - feating the performance of the high-speed sock- ets. The plan was to create an integrated tech- nology that would include high-speed printed cir- cuits with low-loss connectors, to mate them. We started HSIO b y going to our customer base and asking, "If you could have new technology devel - oped, what would that be?" The common theme was that they needed finer lines and spaces. They also said that vias were killing their signals. So, from that came our charter at HSIO which was to come up with a new way to look at fabricating printed circuits with finer lines and spaces and signal integrity as the focus. Beaulieu: What are some of the ways you are meeting those challenges, with respect to tech- nology at HSIO? Rathburn: We are in the process of commer- cializing a printed circuit technology we have developed utilizing liquid crystal polymer tech- nology. The technology is not limited to LCP, and we can utilize conventional materials, but LCP is the focus for high-speed and high- density. We developed the technology in our Minnesota and Arizona operations and have established a manufacturing relationship with Benchmark Electronics to scale production and Catching up with... James Rathburn President, HSIO Technologies

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