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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2019 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 I attended the recent IPC High-Reliability Fo- rum and Microvia Summit in Baltimore, Mary- land. The speakers and panelists focused on a variety of topics, but one issue that kept pop- ping up was the failure of some microvias on military and aerospace PCBs. Fortunate- ly, some smart technologists are focusing on determining the cause of these via failures. I asked Brook Sandy-Smith, IPC's technical ed- ucation program manager, to give us a quick wrap-up of this event. Andy Shaughnessy: Hi, Brook. It was great see- ing you at the reliability conference in Balti- more. This conference has grown quite a bit in the last few years. Brook Sandy-Smith: Yes, it has grown consider- ably. This was the third year for this confer- ence, and I'm so pleased with the quality of the content and the number of attendees. It's a pretty big group, and yet it still feels intimate and special in this venue with lots of opportu- nities to interact and talk with other attendees. You'll be excited when you hear what we have planned for next year. Shaughnessy: I talked to attendees who trav- eled from all over the country. Why do you think reliability is such a draw as a topic now? I know some of the attendees were concerned about military microvias failing. Sandy-Smith: For several industries—such as defense, aerospace, and automotive—high re- liability is the name of the game because our safety is in their hands, and the function of these devices is critical. In addition, compa- nies that make other products look to these high-reliability industries to understand how to do things better. It's important to strive for a high level of quality and reliability even when making something less critical than a car or an airplane. This is why we keep seeing this "reli- ability" buzzword all over the industry. You also mentioned the hot topic of weak microvia interfaces. This is an emerging topic because several companies across the industry have witnessed intermittent failures related to plating interfaces within microvias. This is a particularly difficult problem because the open IPC Reliability Forum Wrap-up Brook Sandy-Smith

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