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10 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 It has been nearly two decades since the global electronics industry adopted lead-free conversion from leaded electronics. Read- ers who have been in the industry during this period will recognize the changes and chal- lenges the industry has faced and appreciate the fact that taking the element lead (Pb) out of electronics has not been a straightforward path. Right at the outset, in my view, four questions should have been addressed: 1. Which solder alloy could be widely accepted? 2. Which alloy(s) could be regarded as working alloys? 3. Which alloy(s) is (are) merited with high- reliability performance under harsh environments? 4. Could the former three questions necessarily be causing mutual exclusivity? In this column, I will confine my comments to the milestones, key events/activities, and thought processes, to some extent, of IPC Joint Industry Standard J-STD-006: "Requirements for Electronic-Grade Solder Alloys and Fluxed and Non-Fluxed Solid Solders for Electronic Soldering Applications." J-STD-006 primarily focuses on solder alloys and is generally deemed mundane—certainly not glamourous. However, solder alloy is crit- ical to electronics, performing a critical func- tion as the interconnecting material for electri- cal, thermal, and physical connections as well as other surface coating functions. To reiterate my two snippet statements over the years: "Solder joint cannot perform better than the solder alloy is intrinsically able to deliver," summarizing the inseparability of a solder alloy and a solder joint that is made of a spe- cific solder alloy. Joint Industry Standard IPC J-STD-006: Electronic Solder Alloys SMT Prospects & Perspectives by Dr. Jennie S. Hwang, CEO, H-TECHNOLOGIES GROUP

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