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Assessing the impact of six solder mask options on under-component cleanliness.

Why consider solder mask selection as a factor that can affect cleaning process effectiveness? The solder mask impacts the component standoff height. Of the three options – solder-mask defined (SMD), non-solder-mask defined (NSMD), or no solder mask (NoSM) – NoSM can increase the standoff height, which may enhance the cleaning process. Standoff height will vary depending on board design and component selection, so it is difficult to quantify standoff height for each solder mask selection and specific component. Reference TABLE 1 for average standoff heights for specific component groups.1

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A trillion-dollar industry remains exposed to knockoff parts that are sometimes electrically superior to the real thing.

Thousands of words have been written on the preponderance of fake parts. Scores of solutions have been presented, from x-raying suspect devices to using boundary scan software to applying DNA taggants to authentic components at OCM factories, not to mention that old destructive standby cross-sectioning.

Organizations such as SAE have written standards governing inspection and test procedures, workmanship criteria, and even training and certification requirements on the art of counterfeit device detection.1 The US government has codified use of detention and prevention measures in its annual defense budget.

And yet …

Why are counterfeits still so prevalent in the electronics supply chain?

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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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