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120 I-CONNECT007 I REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2020 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE by Kelly Dack and the I-Connect007 Team IPC APEX EXPO 2020 featured new products and materials and the latest technologies and solutions aimed at improving PCB design, fabri- cation, and assembly processes. Kelly Dack and the I-Connect007 team roamed the show floor, recorders in hand, and asked various attendees to tell us their impressions of the show, what caught their attention, and what their custom- ers are saying. Here are the highlights. Editor's note: Responses have been edited slightly for clarity. _______________________ Dr. Martin Anselm CEMA Lab, Director Andy Shaughnessy: What is the biggest challenge that you or your cus- tomers are facing in the industry? Dr. Martin Anselm: The biggest challenge I've encountered a number of different times is the migration to much larger packaging. Devices are getting much larger, and with the thou- sands of I/O of solder joints, and they are not just single-die, multi-chip modules in different forms or 2.5D technologies. Further, there are challenges associated with soldering. How do we go away from traditional soldering technol- ogies or methodologies where these devices are so complex that warpage or alloy or reliability is driving us into unknown territories with sol- dering methodologies? To give you good yields and 100% interconnects, you can't necessarily go with the traditional methods. Shaughnessy: Everybody talks about miniatur- ization, but on the other hand, sometimes, you see things getting bigger and bigger. Dr. Anselm: Right. Miniaturization is happening in the context of finer pitch, and closer inter- connect spacing. But to create functionality, the number of interconnects is increasing. The devices are getting larger, but the density of interconnects is getting smaller. Shaughnessy: Designers are having a hard time fanning out from these 5,000-pin BGAs. It's kind of a nightmare. Dr. Anselm: Exactly. It will be interesting to see where the industry goes in the next two to three years. There's a lot of active R&D work to overcome some of these specific challenges, and these are for products that are consumer electronics and going into millions of units per year. There has to be a solution that's repeat- able, reliable, and fast and gives good yields, but that's very difficult to do. _______________________ Caleb Buck EaglePicher Technologies, Electrical Engineer Kelly Dack: What has the show been like for you, Caleb? Caleb Buck: This is my first time attending IPC APEX EXPO. You talked me into coming here. I am a PCB designer and an electrical engineer. I'm not involved in the manufacturing, but I tell manufacturers what to do via my draw- ings. I had an interest in learning more about the IPC standards, my manufacturer's capabili- ties, and some of the tools they use. Some of what I saw was not terribly relevant to what we do. The automated equipment is not something I'm going to use, but seeing how it works helps me understand what I'm ask- ing manufacturers to do with that equipment, Attendees Speak!

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