I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

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Normally, the holiday season is a slow(ish) news time, but this year just feels different. My opinion is that the technology industry banked up a whole bunch of innovations and new products during the pandemic disruptions, which are coming to market as quickly as possible. The November/December news is full of technology discussion, as my selections this week clearly demonstrate.

We have a discussion on additively manufactured electronics, as well as a high-level look at fabrication for the UHDI market—both emerging markets. I also noticed that our readers were quite interested in industry reports on U.S. semiconductor industry challenges, and a forward look at the drivers in the flexible PCB fabrication market, so I was sure to include the links again. Finally, I thought I’d share the news item about a new missile guidance system prototype test that caught reader attention and which has garnered quite a bit of attention.

3D Electronic Devices With Additive Manufacturing 
Published November 29

In the news on Dec. 1, Nano Dimension issued a press release announcing Q3 2022 results where the company shares that it is on track to increase revenue by 10X over 2020’s results. That news shines a spotlight on this article from Shavi Spinzi discussing the possibilities of additively manufactured electronics.

Global Flexible PCB Market Report 2022: Rising Use in the Aerospace and Aviation Sector Boosts Growth 
Published November 25

My recent conversations with flex manufacturers all have a familiar tone: “We’re really busy, capacity is maxed out.” Well, this quote from the Flexible PCB Marketplace Report news release corroborates what I’m hearing: “The [flex] market is expected to surge in the coming years due to the rising use of flexible printed circuit boards in consumer electronics, especially smartphones, laptops, displays, and other electronic devices. According to official industrial sources, around 1.5 billion smartphones were sold in the year 2019.” The article discusses automotive, aviation and aerospace.

Understanding the UHDI Market 
Published November 28

This interview with Meredith LaBeau and Todd Brassard from Calumet Electronics included this in the setup to the conversation, “The more we investigate UHDI in the current market, the more advanced packaging becomes a part of the conversation. The two emerging technologies lean on each other for their overall success. UHDI is the method by which state-of-the-art advanced packaging will be fabricated; substrates are creating a market for UHDI capabilities.” In many ways, Calumet is blazing the trail for nimble PCB fabricators to move forward into capabilities that support advanced packaging. Clearly, readers were interested this week in what LaBeau and Brassard had to say.

New Report Identifies Challenges to Continued U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Design, Innovation 
Published November 30

This report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (with Boston Consulting Group) identifies three key areas the U.S. must address in the administration of the CHIPS Act in order to maintain a leadership position: Design and R&D investment needs are on the rise, there is a shortage of domestic design talent, and open access to global markets is under pressure. Take a read and see if you agree.

PAC-3 Intercepts Target In Successful Test of Lockheed Martin Remote Interceptor Guidance
Published November 25

Lockheed Martin announced that their new missile communication device connected with a U.S. Army PAC-3 missile in flight. This prototype system is seen as a step forward in missile guidance systems.


Suggested Items

The Automated Future of PCB Fabrication

03/21/2023 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
I have always felt that automation has the potential to make a big difference in our PCB industry, especially domestically, where labor is at premium. For the past year, I have been looking for the story of how automation can and will make a significant difference in established PCB shops. I was fortunate enough to find that story in Multicircuits, located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Only a few short years ago, this company was considered a “plain vanilla” PCB fabricator holding its own in our industry; now it has suddenly assumed a true leadership position in the industry in terms of capability, technology, operations, and profitability.

Curtis Grosskopf: Lasting Connections Fuel Progress

03/07/2023 | Patty Goldman, I-Connect007
Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award winner Curtis Grosskopf, a senior engineer at IBM, reflects on the evolution of IPC committees and the vital importance of their work, especially in collaboratively creating industry-wide standards to guide the work of professionals in every sector. This commitment to multidisciplinary cooperation is a mindset that should be fostered at the start of every career.

Time to ‘Finish the Job’ on PCB Funding

03/02/2023 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
In his State of the Union address in early February, President Biden departed from his usual topics about education and the economy to mention the new CHIPS Act, as well as supply chain and infrastructure issues. For perspective on those remarks, Nolan Johnson chats with David Schild, executive director of the Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA).

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