Features

The novel coronavirus has spread to over 200 countries and claimed more than 150,000 lives. The virus emerged in China in December, and spread around the world.

European countries and the US report a significant amount of cases over the past several weeks. The total number throughout Europe is 1.1 million and the US reported 740,000 as of this writing.

The infection rate in Japan was relatively lower than North America and Europe last month, however, this changed over the past two weeks. The number of new cases surpassed ten thousand yesterday with over 200 deaths. New cases continue to increase, especially in the large cities of Tokyo and Osaka. The prime minister and prefectural governors issued emergency stay-at-home requests for at least one month hoping to reduce social contact. White collar workers are required to set up temporary offices in their residence and work from home, but manufacturing companies will suffer without any workers. Non-essential retail stores and restaurants are closed; grocery stores and pharmacies remain open. The Japanese economy will struggle during the second quarter.

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The benefits of developing all boards of a system concurrently on a single CAD canvas.

A multi-board system comprises two or more interconnected PCBs in a single enclosure. Typically, the boards will have very different roles. For example, if you consider e-mobility (i.e., the industry trend of switching over to electric drive trains and actuation in the automotive, aerospace and other transportation sectors), many modules are multi-board systems. One board will be a controller. Another will be for switching in and out potentially high current loads.

While they share many common design and manufacturing considerations, the PCBs will warrant special attention when it comes to their specific roles. In this respect, the controller board might be very high-density and feature BGA devices (with hundreds of balls each), flip-chip devices, wire-bonded die and embedded components (i.e., the PCB substrate contains structures with resistive and/or capacitive properties).

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The coronavirus has spread to over 200 countries and claimed more than 30,000 lives.

The virus emerged in China in December and spread around the world. European countries and the US report a significant amount of cases over the last two weeks. The total number of the cases is more than 600,000.

I traveled to our home office in Japan last week. The number of the cases in Japan jumped up significantly in the Tokyo area last week. I have no symptoms of coronavirus infection, but remain in self-isolation for at least two weeks. I will refrain from public transportations including taxicabs.

Market analysts predict a slowdown in the global electronics industry due to the pandemic. Stock markets throughout the world are experiencing extreme volatility with every news report. The Dow Jones fell almost 25% YTD. It’s at its lowest level since December 2016, and is on pace for its worst month since the Great Depression.

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A look at how array technology influences processes from board routing to drill to test.

“Miniaturization has made it possible for electronics to penetrate society more widely and deeply than ever before.”1 That sentence is as relevant today as when it was written in 1984. It embodies the core tenets of Moore’s law, and the associated manufacturing technologies that have enabled performance improvements in electronics at a predictable cadence for 55 years: 1) decreasing feature sizes, 2) increasing functionality, 3) decreasing cost. One of the most important innovations to accommodate increasing densification of chip technology has been the ball grid array, introduced in the early 1990s, which permits high pin counts per area relative to peripheral lead and no-lead packages such as QFNs and DFNs. The evolution of array packaging has moved from BGA to chip-scale package, to wafer-level CSP to flip-chips, defined by a steady march toward smaller balls and finer-pitch arrays (FIGURE 1).

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The year is flying by. The first quarter is close to completion, and 2019 is a distant memory.

Analyzing business trends and forecasting is difficult enough without adding a wild card into the equation, specifically the coronavirus. For this reason, I decided to provide a snapshot for the industry prior to coronavirus, and look at trends moving forward.

A slowdown for consumer electronics began during December 2018. Global shipments for semiconductors and printed circuit production in Taiwan declined sharply and continued over the next few months. The industry noticed a rebound during the second quarter of 2019, but declined again during the last quarter of the year.

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New 3-D technologies with robust interconnects and thermal solutions are on the way.

Ed.: This is the fifth 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).

Aerospace and defense (A&D) products face several challenges unique to this particular market segment, including the extreme environments in which they operate, need for security, desire for reworkability, long duration storage requirements and the functional lifetime over which the products are expected to perform and be supported.

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