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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2022 Comedian Steve Martin could have been talking about this issue of Design007 Magazine when he released his album "Let's Get Small" in 1977—or maybe not. Well, as Steve would say, excuuuuse me! (You may have to explain that reference to any young people in your company.) But it is tough to get much smaller than ultra HDI. is is a whole new level of miniaturiza- tion for most PCB designers and fabricators. UHDI folks speak in terms of microns, not mils. Everything changes when you start work- ing with 15-micron lines and spaces. e IPC D-33AP Task Group is working hard at updating standards for UHDI because standards can barely keep up with UHDI pro- cessing. Cleanliness becomes all-important at that level, as a speck of dust can wreak havoc on UHDI circuitry. We're talking about near- cleanroom quality. When we started planning this issue, we quickly discovered that there aren't that many UHDI experts in North America; the over- whelming majority of UHDI technologists and facilities are in Asia. As a designer half-jokingly told me recently, "Most of the world's experts in UHDI speak Mandarin." (I only know about 10 words in Mandarin, and half of those are slang, so that could be a problem.) e DoD has begun to recognize that the United States is behind the rest of the world in critical electronics manufacturing, and UHDI is a perfect example. But it's no easy feat for a fabricator to jump into UHDI; a direct imaging machine alone runs close to $1 million. The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Let's Get Small

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