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Page 102 of 147

SEPTEMBER 2020 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 103 Edited by Happy Holden I-CONNECT007 Introduction The IPC High-Reliability Forum planned for May 2020 in Hanover, Maryland, was resched- uled as a virtual conference in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the third annual event, and, like the past two, it contin- ues to grow with more than 150 in attendance. The forum focuses on electronics for critical military, aerospace, automotive, and medical applications required to function without inter- ruption for an extended lifetime where down- time is not acceptable. This event covered a broad range of top- ics related to reliability and an opportunity to share expert knowledge and experience in determining and understanding the causes of failure and selecting the best design rules, materials, processes, and test methods to maximize product reliability. The other objec- tives of the forum were to discuss the indus- try's best efforts to date to mitigate weak- interface microvias through recently adopted design parameters, test protocols, and product sorting, and to solicit attendee support for the various sub-teams of the IPC Weak Microvias Task Group. Day 1 John Perry To begin, IPC's John Perry, director of printed board standards and tech- nology, greeted everyone and opened the virtual conference. He also intro- duced Dennis Fritz as the opening speaker. Dennis Fritz Fritz is a technical con- sultant with Fritz Consult- ing, chairman of the IPC V-TSL-MVIA Weak Micro- via Interface Commit- tee, and an I-Connect007 columnist. The theme of his presentation was "An Introduction From the Microvia Task Group." In this context, microvia holes constituted the focus of this forum. In his introduction, Fritz made it clear that there was no intention to scare designers and users away from microvias; they remained a reliable PCB interconnect construction when properly formed and screened by IPC meth- ods. But there was a valuable opportunity to discuss a potential reliability issue primar- ily associated with multiple levels of stacked microvias. He stressed that staggered or even single-level microvias still needed to be manu- factured carefully and tested to IPC standards. Additionally, Fritz included a review of the background and history of the problem, as described in the IPC-WP-023 white paper, and an introduction of the panel members and their interest in this problem. A big fishbone diagram illustrated the complexity of the sub- ject, defined the project categories, and nomi- nated the working teams. The obvious long-term objective was to provide design, material selection, and pro- cessing guidance to enable the industry to achieve reliable higher density structures. Fritz implored delegates to support the work of the IPC V-TSL-MVIA Weak Interface Micro- via Failures Technology Solutions Subcommit- tee, contribute relevant data with the assur- ance that sources would not be disclosed, and join one of the working teams investigating 2020 IPC High-Reliability Virtual Forum Review

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