LAS VEGAS – The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative debuted its latest industry roadmap this week, highlighted by new chapters on photovoltaics, solid state illumination and RFID item-level tags.
The latest roadmap covers five product sectors and 20 technology and infrastructure areas, which include manufacturing, component/subsystem, design and business process technologies.
The 2009 Roadmap is the result of the efforts of more than 550 individuals (the largest number of participants to date) from 250 organizations located in 18 countries on four continents.
“Despite the recession, there are continued advancements in technology,” said Jim McElroy, CEO of iNEMI. “For example, technologies such as wafer-level packaging are more mainstream than in previous roadmaps. There are also indications that new technologies requiring significant investments in R&D and capital equipment – such as through-silicon vias – are being delayed.”
“One theme repeated in many of the chapters is that of collaboration,” McElroy
said. “As resources become more limited, companies look for ways to leverage their efforts. We see this, for example, in the strengthening of vertical development teams across the supply chain. We also see increased consortia activity on environmental initiatives.”
The new roadmap reflects a growing emphasis on scientific methodologies to assess environmental impacts of materials and potential tradeoffs of alternatives. “Industry must also be more involved in policy-making on material restrictions so that policy makers understand tradeoffs inherent in material substitutions,” iNEMI said.
Several OEMs have efforts underway to remove halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) or PVC materials from their products. However, it is difficult to orchestrate change across the supply chain when there is no regulatory deadline and when each firm is trying to develop its own requirements. Consortia like iNEMI, which has launched a program aimed at HFRs, can drive a coordinated approach by establishing common requirements and assessing supply chain readiness. The trade group has a similar program aimed at PVC Alternatives, which will investigate a cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment of PVC and its alternatives.
Other areas of emphasis are chip packaging and the role the electronics industry could play in helping to mitigate society’s impact on the environment.
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