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IPC Technology Roadmap Takes Many New Directions
The 2013 IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections marks a shift that's occurring throughout the electronics industry: there's more cooperation and information sharing. As technologies get more complex, it's critical to have information on all aspects that impact a technology, from initial design to manufacturing processes and products.
IPC is meeting this challenge by working closely with iNEMI, among others, helping in some research projects and gleaning data from areas that are at the core of iNEMI's roadmapping efforts. The IPC roadmap also utilizes information from the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, as well as from the Japan Printed Circuit Association (JPCA).
"This roadmap has a lot more shared information. There's more exchange between a number of electronics industry groups; we're focused on providing the best information for our respective constituencies with less concern on where the facts originate," said Jack Fisher, president of Interconnect Technology Analysis, Inc. and chairman of the IPC Roadmap Executive Committee. "There's also less company-based research, the knowledge is more spread out."
This shift away from company-based research required a change in the way data was collected. The IPC Roadmap Committee pulls together subject matter experts from around the globe.
"We're using a new distributed process model, with independent chapter teams comprising members from around the world who research and compile data relative to their area(s) of expertise," said Marc Carter, IPC's director of technology transfer. "We also have an executive team that coordinates their efforts, facilitating information exchange, and helping with 'barrier-busting' roadblocks they encounter."
On the technology side, there have been significant changes in the updated roadmap. One of the first is a much-expanded section on printed electronics. It focuses on the real-world opportunities and challenges of this emerging technology, which has been surrounded by a wealth of hype in recent years. This hype is being replaced by real-world applications.
"Printed electronics has emerged as another viable option for some products," Fisher said.
Another major shift in technology comes in the environmental section. It's been transformed and renamed the stewardship section. Consumers in many fields have embraced the green movement, which prompted some changes in the way companies view related environmental issues.
"We're no longer looking at environmental issues as a burden; we're looking at them as an opportunity," Fisher said.
That shift will force many companies to alter some of their programs and processes. One challenge for development teams will be to come up with solutions that meet all the varied regulations, which have not been completely harmonized. That's one of the reasons that Fisher suggests that developers focus on sustainability at the start of the design cycle.
"To be successful, you need to look at it early in the process instead of waiting until it's the equivalent of a fiscal cliff," Fisher said.
Though the IPC roadmap focuses on technology, it also addresses shifts in the business environment. The relationships between various companies are evolving, changing the way designers, manufacturers and contract manufacturers work together. These shifts are addressed in the IPC roadmap.
"It has an expanded and much updated section addressing the changes in business models and expectations between OEMs, ODMs, EMS providers, fabricators, and the rise of contractor specialists for previously internal functions," Carter said.
For more information or to purchase 2013 IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections, visit http://www.electronics.ca/store/ipc-international-technology-roadmap-for-electronic-interconnections.html
For more information or to purchase 2013 iNEMI Technology Roadmap, visit http://www.electronics.ca/store/inemi-advanced-technology-roadmap.html