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94 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 I spoke with Joe Dickson, VP of product in- novation at WUS, about the work the company has been doing on VeCS technology and where it stands today compared to standard HDI pro- cesses. Joe talks about the benefits VeCS can offer, such as moving past the 0.5-millimeter contact point barrier, and how VeCS promises to be a complement to HDI and through-hole techniques. Nolan Johnson: Joe, Joan Tourné from Next- GIn Technology has been writing a series for our magazine, documenting the VeCS technol- ogy. You have been working with him on that process. What do you see for reliability? What has the manufacturing experience been like for this technology? Joe Dickson: We have been working on it for al- most 3.5 years. In the beginning, we were try- ing to understand if the technology was even feasible, so we built structures to see what it could do from a routing and manufacturing standpoint, but it was very early in the learn- ing curve. The tension became very high that this could be disruptive for HDI technologies The Current State of VeCS Technology or even replace them. I've always thought that they fit together. I believe that the collabora- tion of the two technologies is probably the most powerful application of this; however, many people thought, "I could get something dramatically lower in cost with single lamina- tions and high-density routing." That was the focus of where it was, and we spent 1.5 years, attempting to optimize with basic manufactur- ing equipment—10-year-old routers and plat- ing lines, not even pulse. We were able to build some sophisticated structures using them. In the last two years, we have evolved into having more customized equipment, and the operational control of it is substantially bet- ter than what it used to be. In our early tests, the reliability we were looking for involved attempting to break it at every level because we wanted to understand if the interconnect of a VeCS signal would be reliable. That was the single biggest question. Anyone who un- derstands VeCS can see how the traces are generated and could be built, as well as how you could plate deep blind slots because that technology is pretty mature. You can resin-fill the cavities because that technology involves Joe Dickson

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