Material Witness: How About that Technical Roadmap!

Chet Guiles | 05-15-2015

You may remember the movie What About Bob?  If you do, you may recall the scene in which Bob (played by Bill Murray) confronts his psychiatrist (played by Richard Dreyfuss) and emotes, “I need! I need! I need! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”

As I thought recently about some of the drivers that IPC and others have incorporated into their technical roadmaps (not that they all are new by any means, but each time they come out, some of the technical parameters are squeezed a bit harder) I feel a bit like that befuddled psychiatrist. It’s tough figuring out how to make materials that meet all the “I need!” and “Gimme!” requirements and drivers while still satisfying the UMS (Universal Material Specification):  “Low dielectric constant, low loss, high performance and free.”

Consider just a few of the obvious considerations: 


There are a variety of design, material and manufacturability issues that these tightening requirements should suggest to PWB raw material suppliers. Just a few: 

The “needs” and “gimmes” will never go away, and hopefully there will be common sense applied at the government regulatory level in the U.S. and elsewhere, though common sense and government sometimes to be antithetical. But as a materials guy, I see the challenges of the early 21st century demanding that we continue to evolve better and more cost effective materials, and to fine tune the ones we have. Our success at being flexible and adaptable will be a major definer of our success in the next few interesting years.

Chet Guiles is a consultant for Arlon Electronic Materials Division.