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SLPs with lines and spaces <35µm are ahead.

Ed.: This is the ninth of an occasional series by the authors of the 2019 iNEMI Roadmap. This information is excerpted from the roadmap, available from iNEMI (inemi.org/2019-roadmap-overview).

The iNEMI Roadmap defines portable and wireless devices as “high-volume consumer products for which cost is the primary driver, including handheld battery-powered products driven by size and weight reduction.”

A significant portion of this sector continues to be dedicated to the relatively mature but still evolving and growing smartphone/phablet/tablet. Although the market segment is mature, the content and functionality of premium tier smartphones are increasing exponentially with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). A major emerging growth area in this sector is personal activity monitors, or wearable electronics, which are becoming widely adopted, especially among the more urban and suburban areas of the US and other advanced nations.

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Updates in silicon and electronics technology.

Ed.: This is a special feature courtesy of Binghamton University.

Smallest on-chip optical modulator has switching speed up to 11Gb/s. University of Rochester researchers have created the world’s smallest modulator for photonic integrated circuits, augmenting communications, computing, and photonics research. The device consists of a thin film of lithium niobate (LN) bonded on a silicon dioxide layer to create a modulator that, besides being small, operates at high speed and is energy-efficient. The modulator occupies an electro-optical modal volume of 0.58µm3 and has a modulation bandwidth of 17.5GHz, switching speeds of up to 11Gb/s and a tuning efficiency of up to 1.98GHz/V. Applications include communications, computing, and quantum photonic information processing. (IEEC file #11886, Laser Focus World, 8/27/20)

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A marginally larger package would cut design times and improve PCB yields and performance.

Most electronics engineers know there is no 1.1mm BGA or CGA package. Because we are forced to use a 1mm pitch package, we live with tradeoffs. A slight increase in the pitch size, however, could satisfy the needs for today’s high I/O pin count designs.

This conclusion comes from my observations of building Class 3 and aerospace 1mm pitch products, and the challenges, setbacks, redesigns, returned product, and field failures we all endure.

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Electrical and physical characteristics play a role in high-accuracy detection.

Most multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) have no marking and cannot easily be distinguished from their package, which gives unscrupulous vendors opportunities for fraud. Here, the authors introduce several test methods for MLCC compliance verification, namely 1) the effect of DC bias on capacitance, 2) capacitance temperature characteristics, 3) high-voltage testing of DCW (dielectric withstand voltage) and IR (insulation resistance), 4) cross-section (dielectric layer and terminal comparison for flex types), and 5) electron microscopy (EDS) material analysis to match with known good device chemical composition.

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Is manufacturing at scale a building block of your development plan? 

Beyond conception, bringing a new product to life is a challenge. From the saying that “hardware is hard” to the number of failed product launches and missed deadlines (behind the scenes of all major consumer products we use today), we’ve compiled a few important lessons learned to help founders and engineers on their product development and manufacturing adventures. Too many design projects go to waste or must restart from scratch because manufacturing at scale wasn’t a building block of the development plan. Here are five things OEMs and EMS companies should do to better ensure a seamless transfer of programs from proto to volume:

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Annual career development program features talks on automotive safety systems and quality. 

In the wake of Covid-19, SMTA International is virtual this year, and so is the Women’s Leadership Program! It is a challenging time for everyone, but we can concentrate on developing our careers by charting a positive course now. Join the “Road Trip” for a program of technical presentations, speed networking and a connection reception. Although some aspects of the WLP will be different – such as two speakers instead of three, and a completely virtual event – we believe it will still be one of the best platforms to connect with colleagues within our industry.

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