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60 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team We recently spoke to Ed Carignan of Tech- nica, who outlines the current landscape for both direct imaging and inkjet printing and describes how the technologies have evolved over the years. He also details what's next on the horizon. Nolan Johnson: A lot seems to be happening for imaging. I would even say that what is now being called imaging is changing. How would you describe the current landscape for imag- ing? How is it changing, and what's on the ho- rizon? Ed Carignan: The change that has happened over the last decade or even before was the conversion from standard imaging technolo- gy to direct imaging technology. I was with a direct imaging company some time back, but many more companies have populated that market. It is so widely accepted that even most very small shops doing under five million a year have entered into the digital era for imag- ing inner layer, outer layer, and solder mask. It has become quite prevalent. What's newer on the horizon are the inkjet systems. Fewer units are installed, and it's not clear how the markets are going to shake out on it. But with the introduction of some very small picoliter printheads, it's becoming possi- ble that the kind of work we used to do with direct imaging will be obsoleted by an additive process—which also offers some benefits in that it eliminates some processes. We're pret- ty mainstream on the direct imaging side of it. There have been a lot of developments—even down to the packaging resolutions—and the speed of it with multi-wavelengths and other improvements have gone a long way. What's exciting was how much of that mar- ket might be taken over by inkjet systems. There's probably always going to be a place where they coexist for different process vari- ables, but we see partners in both of those spaces. Johnson: As inkjet supplants direct imaging— or photoimaging even before that—what are

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