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26 SMT Magazine • February 2017 to agree with the model's results (the actual ob- servations), that in turn, become the new set of initial conditions. Creating a predictive mod- el for weather systems produces similar prob- lems—where small perturbations cause signifi- cant changes in results. It is chaos theory that helps lead us to the conclusion that perhaps there is nothing abso- lutely improbable or absolutely probable (i.e., either a zero or a one). We sit in a conference room listening to the boss bloviate on how we must perform better as a company this year. At that moment, how many of us think about the fact that we can't predict absolutely where each gas molecule that makes up the air in the room will move in the next microsecond? There is a finite probability that after a while they will all move into a corner and you will suffocate— based on some of the bosses I have had, there are worse outcomes. However, it is a very, very small probability—but not zero! In 1933, H.G. Wells wrote a story titled "The Shape of Things to Come." This work of science fiction tells the history of the world from 1933 to 2106. It is taken from the notes of a Dr. Philip Raven, who meticulously compiled his dreams of a future history book he was reading. It pre- dicts World War II that officially started in 1939 with the invasion of Poland. This account of a future history is one of many utopian and dystopian views of where we as a species are ultimately headed. In this case Wells foresees an optimistic ending. However, our purpose here is not to predict human destiny, but simply to predict the shape of things to come in the high tech electronic product assembly business. What are the general drivers of change in this business, and what specific new product and process types do we see that are a result of those drivers? Change drivers: 1. Reduced product cost 2. New disruptive technologies and applications 3. Time to market New products and processes associated with change drivers: n Additive technologies (3D printing, Occam, thick film polymer printing of components) In the long run, assembling atoms is more cost effective than assembling and then remov- ing and discarding atoms. In addition, cost is reduced when less material is used and the ma- terial that is used does not require post-fabri- cation assembly material and labor. Prototypes and preproduction product models will be ex- pedited using 3D printing, overall time-to-mar- ket for new product introduction (NPI) will be reduced. n RF and Power Management Telemetry and product portability will con- tinue to extend their reach into new areas. This will require material and assembly processes with short electrical distances. Smaller products using smaller components (e.g., 03015 metric) and robust electrical designs that run on uber- low voltages will proliferate. High component densities will cause assembly technologies to continue to push automation to greater accu- racy and precision. In addition, smaller circuit boards configured in larger panels along with direct chip attach will high process accuracy and precision. Traditional yield loss will not be tolerated. Assembly yield expectations will be in the 99.6%+ range, in general. To achieve these yields meta-process control will be required (i.e., automated self-correction of process to accom- modate material and process variation). Non- value added activities such as ICT will gradual- ly be removed from the assembly process to re- duce labor cost. THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME H.G. Wells, Things to Come, Janus Films.

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