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12 PCB007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Rapala-Virtanen: Global economic uncertainty and visibility present challenges. And we don't yet know what the demand for 5G will be or when it will ramp up. When will the volume come? And, of course, the trade conflict be- tween the U.S. and China is also affecting us in Europe, although it could also lead to some possibilities for European companies. All customers who are preparing for 5G are driving their stocks down, so that might affect short-term orders. Miniaturization and simul- taneously increased data rates need new ma- terial and process solutions. And as I said be- fore, modularity is increasing, which affects what will be the next-generation board types. For example, the manufacturing of chip-lev- el packages is done in Asia. And embedding technologies are coming, which is a technol- ogy that some of the European companies are looking at. In many of the market segments—includ- ing automotive, Industry 4.0, and IoT—I hear questions about future products. What are the material types as the data rates are increas- ing? What are the design features? What are the reliability expectations? These have to be fulfilled by manufacturers. Starkey: You've already partly answered this question, but if we look to the future, how do you think the European PCB industry is going to change during the next few years? Rapala-Virtanen: With 5G, Europe has to be ready to fulfill the requirements; thus, regis- tration is one of the challenges as everything is becoming tighter and finer. We have to ful- fill it at the product level, and we must under- stand the difficulties. High-frequency applica- tions are also coming with new materials. So, how do we meet all of the reliability require- ments throughout processing and enable the PCB to satisfy all the electrical requirements of the end product? As I mentioned earlier, we need to consider what IoT, Industry 4.0, and robotics will bring. Many designs are done in Europe because various OEMs are still located here, but where the boards will be done re- mains to be seen. There is a lot of change on the automotive side as well. Power electronics are already there, but what new requirements will electric cars bring to the market, and what about reli- ability? We see that when some of the micro- via boards are used in automotive, they require different reliability testing. So, it might take a longer time to get the products to the market- place. And one very important thing—we cannot forget about environmental impact, which has affected the whole supply chain. I think Europe has a strong position regarding green electronics. In the past, we have seen many innovative environmental solutions in de- signs, materials, and processing. And I can- not avoid mentioning what will happen with Brexit and all of the internal affairs in Europe. The German market has also had some chal- lenges in the automotive industry recently, but we hope that they will bring some new, interesting solutions for next-generation prod- ucts. All of these changes on the economic side may affect the future, including how it goes and how we see it. Starkey: What is your area of greatest concern currently? Rapala-Virtanen: My greatest concern is that, if Europe doesn't have the manufacturing ca- pability available for next-generation prod- ucts, when they do come, we will miss the opportunity for those new products in manu- facturing. Therefore, we must have very close cooperation over the whole supply chain so that we can be ready. The time to market is very critical, and all of these points from de- sign through manufacturing—including reli- ability testing and functionality—are linked together; we need this understanding so that we don't miss the opportunity. Starkey: Tarja, many thanks for sharing your views with us. Rapala-Virtanen: Thank you, Pete. PCB007

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