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NOVEMBER 2022 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 17 ernment do any investment in making sure people get bananas? Johnson: No, they build roads, which allows us to get bananas. Brassard: You are exploring the right topics. With respect to UHDI, U.S. fabricators gen- erally have more questions than answers. We have done the work. We understand what the OEMs' early needs are from the domestic industry, and the types of people and equip- ment sets necessary for the various levels of complexity and capacity, as well as the asso- ciated costs, acceptable yields, profit margins, and scalability. For now, our customers need us to solve specific problems and gain specific manufac- turing capabilities within the United States, but U.S. OEMs want to work with fabrica- tors that can innovate with them, getting outside of the box, and standing up novel technologies that are second to none in the world. is brings tremendous opportuni- ties to U.S. fabricators and PCB manufactur- ers who understand the foundational princi- ples of fabricating boards and make the jump to substrates. LaBeau: Now that word is out that we are exploring capability and capacity, the inqui- ries grow exponentially, and we don't cur- rently have the bandwidth to take everyone on all at once. ere is a substantial DoD demand, but there's also a commercial demand. We are working to get the most out of our capital investment at each step in our advancement. Brassard: We believe PCB shops can enter the substrate market. But should they? Johnson: I see the overlap in those two state- ments. LaBeau: ere is overlap between boards and substrates, but substrates will require much higher levels of cleanliness, metrology, and testing outside of the traditional PCB equip- ment supply chain. Brassard: PCB shops can push into substrates to a point, but then something more will be required to produce the most novel substrate or substrate-like PCB designs. Johnson: It starts to look like IC now. LaBeau: Yes, in a few different ways. For exam- ple, when certain processes require similar but different than PCB chemistries to run at sub- strate scales. Also, does the United States have the where- withal to develop new materials? at would stimulate more of a U.S. substrate market as well and ensure we are not continuing to ship the products within the ecosystem back and forth from the Pacific Rim to the U.S. and back, oen referred to as the "FedEx supply chain." We can develop strong domestic manu- facturing, equipment sets, and materials tech- nologies. Johnson: We'll know in the next few years. ank you both for your time. Brassard: ank you, Nolan. PCB007 Todd Brassard is VP/COO of Calumet Electronics. Meredith LaBeau is chief technology officer at Calumet Electronics. We are working to get the most out of our capital investment at each step in our advancement.

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