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SEPTEMBER 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 93 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 an- nual event, and, like the past two, it continues to grow with more than 150 in attendance. The forum focuses on electronics for critical mili- tary, aerospace, automotive, and medical ap- plications 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, ma- terials, processes, and test methods to maxi- mize product reliability. The other objectives of the forum were to discuss the industry's best efforts to date to mitigate weak-inter- face microvias through recently adopted de- sign 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 Committee, and an I-Connect007 col- umnist. The theme of his presentation was "An In- troduction From the Microvia Task Group." In this context, microvia holes constituted the fo- cus 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 methods. But there was a valuable opportunity to dis- cuss a potential reliability issue primarily as- sociated with multiple levels of stacked micro- vias. He stressed that staggered or even sin- gle-level microvias still needed to be manufac- tured carefully and tested to IPC standards. Additionally, Fritz included a review of the background and history of the problem, as de- scribed in the IPC-WP-023 white paper, and an introduction of the panel members and their interest in this problem. A big fishbone dia- gram illustrated the complexity of the subject, defined the project categories, and nominated the working teams. The obvious long-term objective was to pro- vide design, material selection, and process- ing guidance to enable the industry to achieve reliable higher density structures. Fritz im- plored delegates to support the work of the IPC V-TSL-MVIA Weak Interface Microvia 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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