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An Opportunity to Give Thanks

I-Connect007 wants to take this opportunity to give thanks to so many people that make "the magic" happen day in and day out. Thanksgiving is a time, of course, to give thanks for the bounty that we enjoy, and that couldn't be truer each day for the support we receive in editorial, advertising, and marketing of our daily, weekly, and monthly publications. It's a pleasure to contribute to the industry—and to receive contributions. Read our Thanksgiving message and then enjoy your turkey day.

Northrop Grumman to Enhance UH-60V Aircraft Capabilities

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected to provide engineering services for the KBR-led $156.7 million, five-year Department of Defense Information Analysis Center’s (DoD IAC) multiple-award contract (MAC) vehicle.

ICAPE USA's Jeremy Griner Talks Market Conditions

ICAPE USA managing director Jeremy Griner discusses current market conditions for PCB fabrication and shares the ICAPE perspective on which industries are experiencing growth. Griner also outlines how ICAPE is navigating current shipping and logistics challenges while continuing to grow sales during these dynamic times.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

The industry news cycle seems to be picking up speed lately. Of course, 30 days into the quarter is about when public companies announce their results, and in the midst of this worldwide financial situation, we’ve got all eyes on anything coming out from our counterparts in the industry. I’ve noticed that global corporate results (Nan Ya PCB and TTM, in particular) do seem to be on everyone’s radar. In addition to financial news, trade shows are popping back up around the world—Europe, India, and a special report from editor Andy Shaughnessy, who took his own road trip to Raleigh, reporting on PCB Carolina, which had its own heyday this year.

PCB Carolina Breaks Attendance Record

PCB Carolina has been growing consistently for the past decade, and this year the show reached a milestone: more than 1,000 attendees. Yesterday, the show was the busiest I’ve ever seen it; I almost had to park off the NC State University campus. Fortunately, I’m an expert at “the parking lot game.” I waited until a guy was leaving and then I sniped his spot. Bam!

IPC to Unveil New Member Magazine, ‘IPC Community’ at IPC APEX EXPO 2023

IPC, in partnership with IPC Publishing Group (I-Connect007) will unveil an exciting new publication, "IPC Community," at IPC APEX EXPO 2023, as a continuation of its commitment to better serve the electronics industry and provide additional value for IPC members.

NASA Continues Psyche Asteroid Mission

Earlier this year, Psyche missed its planned 2022 launch period as a result of mission development problems, leading to an internal review of whether the mission would be able to overcome these issues to successfully launch in 2023.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: ‘Tremendous Uncertainty’ in Global PCB Marketplace

For the past two years, EIPC’s Technical Snapshot series has kept us extremely well-informed on developments in printed circuit materials and manufacturing technologies. But what is currently happening in the global PCB market, and how is Europe and the rest of the world affected by the current world situation? The 19th chapter (coincidentally on Oct. 19) in the series gave us a privileged opportunity to find out, as two leading industry analysts presented their observations and opinions in a webinar introduced and moderated by EIPC technical director Tarja Rapala-Virtanen.

Sunstone and I-007eBooks Launch Book on Designing for Reality

I-007eBooks is excited to announce the release of the latest title in its series for designers, The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Designing for Reality. This book covers both written and unwritten rules for how to create a realistic, manufacturable design.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

Where did the year go? I can’t believe we’re planning our January and February issues now. It was 84 degrees most of last week in Atlanta, and now it’s 31. I guess I should take my Hawaiian shirts out of rotation! This week we have quite a variety of articles for you. It’s officially show time and the industry is back in business in a major way. We have some news coming out of last week’s advanced packaging event in Washington, D.C., and an article about navigating SMTA International, which opens on Halloween this year in Minneapolis. We have a great column on avoiding EMI with good routing strategies, and an article on electrically conductive inks. To top it off, I-Connect007 has published a new book, written by Matt Stevenson of Sunstone Circuits, that posits a new “design for”: Designing for Reality. If you’re a designer, isn’t designing for reality what it’s all about?


EMA Helps Ease Designers’ Supply Chain Woes

Supply chain issues are continuing to cause disruptions in our industry, though lead times have dropped from astronomical to merely troublesome. In this interview, Chris Banton, EMA Design Automation’s director of marketing, explains how Cadence’s software has evolved as designers’ needs have changed in the past few turbulent years, including providing designers with component availability data early in the process.

PCB Legislative Update: HR 7677

Electronic industry association leaders like IPC, PCBAA, and USPAE have been trekking to Capitol Hill almost weekly this year to reinforce the dire state of the industry and seek additional co-sponsors for HR 7677, a bill supporting the American printed circuit board industry. However, with only 78 days until the end of the 117th Congress, it is not likely that anything will move by the end of this session.

IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium: An Urgent Need to Support Global Efforts

After two days of presentations, panel discussions, and impromptu hallway conversation at the IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium, one thing became clear: There is an urgency to support advanced packaging in all regions across the globe. The symposium, Oct. 11-12 in Washington, D.C., concluded with what seemed to be a great deal of expanded perspective for those who attended.

Intel Joins DARPA’s Space-BACN to Accelerate Inter-Satellite Communications

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Intel for Phase 1 of the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program, which aims to create a low-cost, reconfigurable optical communications terminal that will translate information between diverse satellite constellations.

IPC Symposium: U.S. Must Address Critical Gaps in Advanced Packaging Needs

There is a significant capability gap in advanced substrate packaging in North America, forcing all semiconductors to be packaged in Asia and leaving North America at risk in its supply chain. This was a common theme during a two-day IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium, which launched yesterday at the Kimpton Monaco hotel in Washington, D.C.

Viasat, Inmarsat Confident their Combination Benefits Consumers

Viasat Inc. and Inmarsat remain committed to working with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to demonstrate how their planned transaction will benefit airline, passenger, and enterprise users of In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in aviation businesses.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

This week, our five must-reads include the IPC report on the EMS industry and a report on ICs for the automotive market. Add to that Lockheed’s highest powered DoD laser yet, IPC’s APEX keynote announcement, and—for you conference and expo junkies—a calendar of upcoming industry events. I can’t help but notice that much of our news is about, well, something new. In this case, my editor’s picks for the week capture new technology, new perspectives, new ways to communicate content, and new developments that we can expect to see in our future daily life. To borrow a phrase from the TV show “Firefly,” everything is “shiny” this week. I will be at PCB West, the IPC Advanced Packaging symposium, SMTA International, and electronica. If you see me, say hello, and share something cool about the part of the industry you’re in.

Michael Carano: A Focus on Process Control, Part 2

In this second half of our conversation, Michael Carano discusses some of the metrics that fabricators need to consider before investing in new processes, especially process control technologies, and some of the challenges board shops face updating brownfield sites.

The New World Order of JIC

The great business thought leader Margaret Heffernan commented that we are changing from just-in-time (JIT) to just-in-case (JIC). As we’ve worked our way through the issues of the past two years, the world is changing from a complicated to a complex system, and we must be prepared to face the challenges it brings. To survive today, we need the JIC mentality. We must be prepared for the unexpected. No longer can we rely on cycles and patterns to predict the future, or what we might be able to handle based on what that future brings. Now we must prepare for the unexpected. We must be flexible and able to adapt to whatever comes our way.

A Focus on Process Control, Part 1

Michael Carano is a noted subject matter expert with respect to process control, electroplating and metallization technology, surface finishing, and reliability. So, it was only natural that we sat down to talk about mechanizing an existing facility given today’s fickle environment. Will any of the CHIPS funding trickle down to bare board fabrication? What process can be adjusted on the factory floor? The focus needs to be more than just on manufacturing and getting work out the door, he says, but also process control.


Designing Through Supply Chain Pain

Engineers are accustomed to the demanding challenges of designing for miniaturization, cost reduction, cross platform compatibility, and harsh environments. What has proven to be the most painful experience of my career (and for many of my colleagues) is the sheer lack of components from which to build our designs. Development cycles—commercial, industrial, medical, avionics—have been severely impacted, from large enterprise corporations to small design/integration companies. Awareness of the situation is the first step to understanding the underlying problems faced by today’s design engineers industry wide. Here are a few of the situations I have faced in the last year alone.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

It feels like the first day of school. It’s September, and we’re all officially back at our desks, workstations, or kitchen tables. Even Les Vacances is over. Oui, c’est vrai! But instead of facing new teachers, we have to deal with diverse market forces, supply chain issues, and technology that never seems to stop evolving. Of course, that’s what makes this industry so interesting, isn’t it?

Will Marsh: CHIPS Act Update

Now that the CHIPS Act has become law, Nolan Johnson reconnects with PCBAA President Will Marsh to ask the question: What now? Will brings Nolan up to speed on the initial stages of implementation and administration, and provides more insight on the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022.

A Deeper Look at the CHIPS Act Investment

In this interview with Chris Peters at U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), Nolan Johnson seeks for better understanding regarding the implications of funding the CHIPS Act. Frankly, where and how will the $52 billion be spent? Who will decide how the funds are allocated? And surprisingly, who will benefit the most from this boost into the microelectronics industry?

What’s Going On in Congress? Your Handy Guide to PCB Legislation Headlines

We know you have so many questions about what the legislation means for you. Will there be funds to expand or upgrade my facilities? What about tax breaks? How will my specific needs be known? What will the current legislation mean for U.S. vs. China relations? Use this handy guide to get caught up, sort out the CHIPS from the USICAs, and be that someone who talks knowledgably at dinner parties.

IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium to Draw Industry, Government Representatives

Nolan Johnson speaks with IPC’s Chris Mitchell, vice president of global government relations, and Matt Kelly, chief technologist, about the inaugural IPC Advanced Packaging Symposium, scheduled for October 11-12, 2022 in Washington, DC. In this conversation, Mitchell and Kelly detail the symposium's objectives, presenters, and the value to both fabricators and assemblers in attending.

NASA Awards Next-Generation Spaceflight Computing Processor Contract

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California has selected Microchip Technology Inc. of Chandler, Arizona, to develop a High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) processor that will provide at least 100 times the computational capacity of current spaceflight computers.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

There was some good news this week, as Republicans and Democrats managed to cooperate long enough to pass the CHIPS Act. Members of the House and Senate don’t usually act until they get worried about being voted out of office, so pardon me if I’m not ready to sing “Happy Days Are Here Again” just yet. But this is still really good news; the politicians are on the record now, and we can hold them accountable.

Excerpt Chapter 5: 'The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to... Thermal Management with Insulated Metal Substrates, Vol. 2'

Chapter 5 of the 2nd Volume from The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... Thermal Managment with Insulated Metal Substrates provides examples of thermally enhanced prepregs and cores now available in the market with the versatility to solve a wide variety of challenges. Included in this chapter you will find examples of simple designs and more complex hybrid assemblies that combine multilayer and single-layer areas on the same board.

Excerpt: 'The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to... Thermal Management with Insulated Metal Substrates, Vol. 2'

As the second in this two-part series, The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to... Thermal Management with Insulated Metal Substrates, Volume 2, by Didier Mauve and Robert Art builds on the material presented in the first book by describing up-to-the-minute products and design techniques for thermal management with IMS.


New Book from I-Connect007 Examines Evolution of Electronics Industry NPI

The Electronics Industry’s Guide to… The Evolving PCB NPI Process is the first book in I-Connect007’s new The Electronics Industry’s Guide to… technical series. This valuable resource is for all segments of the electronics interconnect industry.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

Our biggest news this week: I-Connect007 has been acquired by IPC. Every member of the team, including founder and Publisher Barry Matties, is included in this deal. We’ve enjoyed working closely with IPC for decades, especially at events like IPC APEX EXPO, and we have four IPC columnists writing in our magazines and newsletters. This move makes sense for both parties. It enables us to take our magazine, newsletters, and book publishing to the next level, and IPC won’t have to spend years building a media company from the ground up. It really is a win-win.

IPC Acquires Media Company I-Connect007, Strengthening Relationship to Drive Growth and Innovation in the Electronics Industry

IPC, a global electronics manufacturing industry association, has acquired media company I-Connect007, a global source for news and original content serving the printed circuit design, fabrication and assembly/EMS markets.

PCB Finance Class With Jeff De Serrano

Class is in session! PCB Technologies President Jeff De Serrano takes us through some of the struggles of the PCB industry over the past 30 years, how U.S. legislation seeks to level the playing field, and whether a “monopoly” of fabricators is healthy for our industry. In his chat with Nolan Johnson, Jeff gets out his investment playbook and talks strategy. Don’t miss this one.

FLEX Conference 2022: If You Build It, We Will Buy It

Key presentations from companies like Boeing highlight FLEX Conference and Exhibition 2022, held in concert with the annual SEMICON West show this week in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. SEMICON West claims to be “North America’s premier microelectronics exhibition and conference,” uniting players across the entire electronics manufacturing and design supply chain.

Time to Get Serious About CMMC Readiness

Divyash Patel of MX2 Technology is a leading cybersecurity expert who’s sounding the alarm about getting your company into a state of readiness. But he’s not yelling fire in a theater. Whether it’s aligning with DoD’s CMMC, or just ensuring your company’s data and processes are protected, Divyash can see what’s coming. “This is a must-have compliance program,” he says. “It needs to be taken seriously and maintained.”

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

In more than one conversation while discussing the industry this week, the themes have included industry turmoil, lots of business opportunities, and the urgent need to build out to meet changing demands. In fact, our July issue of PCB007 Magazine, which publishes later this month, will focus on these very topics. It’s definitely one not to be missed! These themes also emerged in this week’s top five news items as well. Top stories include an acquisition in the soldering machinery space, sales and service expansion in Mexico, industry data from SIA on semiconductor global sales data, and strong financial numbers from two China-based manufacturers. Now, with the U.S. Congress putting its focus on the PCB industry, things could really heat up. It’s going to be an interesting year.

The U.S. Economy Needs the Bipartisan Innovation Act and the PCB Act

In this IPC-created interview between Dale Curtis, IPC Advocacy Communications and Chris Mitchell, IPC VP Global Government Relations, the importance of the semiconductor and PCB manufacturing legislation moving through US Congress is highlighted.

Ventec’s Book on Thermal Management: The Summer Sequel You’ve Been Waiting For

I-Connect007 is excited to announce the release of the second title in Ventec’s series on thermal management, "The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Thermal Management with Insulated Metal Substrates, Volume 2." This second volume covers the latest developments in the field of thermal management, particularly in insulated metal substrates, using state-of-the-art products as examples, and focusing on specific solutions and enhanced properties of IMS.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

Market news was certainly big this week. While the U.S. stock market continues make some large swings, the PCB and PCBA are doing their own dance with the numbers. We’re still feeling the effects of the pandemic, but it seems to be more about playing catch up. Still, the industry is showing some instability, both in positive and negative ways.


Review: Institute of Circuit Technology 2022 Annual Symposium

The British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, housing the world's largest collection of historic British cars, was venue for the 2022 Annual Symposium of the Institute of Circuit Technology on June 8, which attracted a substantial gathering of manufacturers and suppliers from the UK printed circuit industry. ICT chair Emma Hudson reflected upon lessons learned during the pandemic lock-down and how the industry has successfully adapted to circumstances. She commented that the UK’s PCB fabricators are extremely busy, as she introduced an outstanding conference programme including a keynote from the incomparable Happy Holden.

PCB Technologies' Subsidiary iNPACK to Exhibit at IMS Show

Jeff De Serrano, president of PCB Technologies USA, discusses the launch of their new company, iNPACK, which focuses on high-tech substrate technologies, microelectronics assembly, and electronics packaging. He details his plans to continue expanding InPack over the next year and to meet with customers and exhibit at the International Microwave Symposium Show in Denver June 19-24.

The Double-edged Sword of CMMC 2.0

For the past few years, those whose SMT provider organizations supply or contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have been hearing about—or even gearing up for—implementation of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, better known as CMMC. By this, I mean that you were gearing up for CMMC 1.0. Today, we have CMMC 2.0, and there are a number of changes in the new version that impact both the standards for compliance and how you certify that compliance—especially if you run a small business.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

Things are heating up in the world of PCB design and manufacturing as well. In the past week, we published quite a bit of news—some good, some not so good. Some of the news is mixed, as we see with the EMS industry shipments rising YOY in April, but falling from the previous month. It’s nice to see NASA investing in American small businesses, but they didn’t really have a choice, did they?

NASA Supports Small Business Research to Power Future Exploration

NASA has selected hundreds of small businesses and dozens of research institutions to develop technology to help drive the future of space exploration, ranging from novel sensors and electronics to new types of software and cutting-edge materials. The project, funded by NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer program, could help improve the efficiency of solar cells for space missions and use on Earth.

Jahr Turchan Discusses Blackfox's Training Scholarships for Veterans

Nolan Johnson recently interviewed Jahr Turchan, director of Veteran Services & Advanced Manufacturing Programs for Blackfox Training Institute. They discussed some of the new programs at Blackfox, including the Veteran Advanced Manufacturing Certification program. Thanks to programs like these, this is a great time for veterans transitioning into the manufacturing workplace.

PCB Technologies’ InPack to Focus on Miniaturization, Packaging

I recently spoke with PCB Technologies’ Jeff De Serrano, Yaniv Maydar, and Alon Menache about their new venture, InPack. They explain their plans to focus on advanced packaging, miniaturization, and other high-end technology, with much faster time to market, and they offer a view of the global market as well.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

The big news in the industry this week was the new bill introduced to the U.S. Congress in support of the PCB manufacturing industry. The Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, which was introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), incentivizes “purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development.” The bill is a PCB-oriented complement to the semiconductor-oriented CHIPS Act of 2021.

Exploring High Density With Axiom

Nolan Johnson and Barry Matties talk with Axiom’s Rob Rowland and Kevin Bennett about the current high-density challenges facing EMS manufacturing. In this interview, Bennett and Rowland zero in on component packaging and feeder technology as critical areas in need of improvement.

PCBAA Member Profile: Davy Nakada, Rogers Corporation

Our industry has suffered from a lack of visibility with policymakers. PCBAA brings many voices together so those in Washington realize what's at stake. Semiconductors have received the most attention in recent years while the domestic production of PCBs and related PCB materials continues to decline. We are now seeing legislative language supporting domestic production because of how PCBAA has educated lawmakers and policymakers on the PCB’s place in the microelectronics ecosystem.


Elbit Systems UK JV Introduces Sustainable Aviation Pathfinder for Ministry of Defence

Elbit Systems UK and KBR Inc’s joint venture, Affinity Flying Training Services Ltd (Affinity), has embarked on a series of battery-powered flight tests for the UK Ministry of Defence to assess the feasibility of environmentally friendly alternatives to current military aircraft.

The Reality of Regulated Manufacturing

Nolan Johnson speaks with Ryan Bonner, CEO of DEFCERT, about government regulations for data and cybersecurity. A key component of moving to a digital factory will be to ensure security of the data required to operate a digital factory, and most importantly, customer design data.

Additive Design: Same Steps, Different Order

We recently spoke with Dave Torp, CEO of Winonics, about the company’s additive and semi-additive processes and what PCB designers need to know if they’re considering designing boards with these new technologies. As Dave explains, additive design is not much different from traditional design, but the steps in the design cycle are out of order, and additive designers must communicate with their fabricators because so much of the new processes are still proprietary.

Catching Up With Alpha Circuit’s Prashant Patel

There is plenty of evidence that the American PCB industry is going through a revitalization. While a few new companies are being established, others are being rejuvenated as investors gain more interest and confidence in domestic PCB companies. I reached out to Prashant Patel, owner and president of Alpha Circuit I LLC in the greater Chicago area. I wanted to hear about his investment and the unique path he took to owning a PCB shop.

Sierra Space to Revolutionize Space Exploration With Siemens' Xcelerator

Siemens Digital Industries Software announced that Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for Low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, has implemented Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services as the foundation of its next-generation digital engineering program.

Dave Hillman on Living Your Passion

Barry Matties leads this engaging retrospective conversation with Dave Hillman, a Fellow, Materials and Process engineer at Collins Aerospace, who talks about mentorship, pandemic changes, and solder. “Soldering is soldering,” Dave says. “But how we do that keeps evolving in response to the new technologies and smaller packages.” What’s the key to his success and longevity? “Find your passion.” Here’s how he’s done it.

DARPA Kicks Off Program to Explore Space-Based Manufacturing

DARPA’s Novel Orbital Moon Manufacturing, Materials, and Mass Efficient Design (NOM4D) program is underway with eight industry and university research teams on contract. The selected teams are tasked to provide foundational proofs of concept in materials science, manufacturing, and design technologies to enable production of future space structures on orbit without the volume constraints imposed by launch. All manufacturing would be done in orbital construction facilities and the results utilized in orbital applications.

Flexible Hybrid Electronics Design: Reducing Time to Market

Emerging innovations in the flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) domain are enabling new applications across multiple industries due to their highly flexible structures and additive manufacturing processes. The smaller form factor, lighter weight, and conformal capabilities are ideal for IoT edge devices in health and fitness monitoring, military asset identification and tracking, automotive displays and sensors, aerospace radar, and soft robotics. Significant industry research led by NextFlex is optimizing the processes from design through manufacture for FHE products.

José Servin Receives IPC Dieter Bergman Fellowship Award

The Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award is given to individuals who have fostered a collaborative spirit, made significant contributions to standards development, and have consistently demonstrated a commitment to global standardization efforts and the electronics industry. José Servin has worked as an IPC member for more than 14 years in the development of the Electronics Assembly Norms. As a member of the IPC A-610 and J STD-001 working groups, he became chairman of IPC A-610G and J STD-001G Automotive Addendums that complements the norms for automotive industry since 2018.

Boeing’s Australian-Produced Uncrewed Aircraft to Be Named ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’

Boeing Australia congratulates the Australian Government and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on their selection of ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’ as the military designator and name for the first Australian-produced military combat aircraft in over 50 years. While the RAAF Loyal Wingman development program name will phase out, Boeing’s product name for global customers will remain the Airpower Teaming System.


Book Excerpt: 'The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… High Performance Materials', Chapter 1

Choosing the right material for your application can be a major challenge. These are “cost to performance” decisions that need to be made to select material that will meet the expected performance requirements and the desired cost targets. Selecting a material that meets cost targets but fails to perform in prototype development testing results in costly revision spins, cost increases and delays to market. Chapter 1 of this book helps readers understand what resin choices to make for optimal electrical performance.

Doug Pauls, Collins Aerospace, Receives Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award

Doug Pauls holds a B.A. in chemistry and physics from Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked nine years for the Navy, eight years as technical director of Contamination Studies Labs, and 19 years at Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace), in the Advanced Operations Engineering group, where he is a principal materials and process engineer. Doug was awarded the Rockwell Collins Arthur A. Collins Engineer of the Year Award in 2004.

David Pogue: Is the Fear of Change Holding Us Back?

David Pogue, an American technology and science writer and TV presenter, sat down with the I-Connect007 Editorial Team after his keynote presentation at IPC APEX EXPO to talk about today’s technology, the breakthroughs that have shaped our current landscape, and whether fear of change and innovation is what’s keeping us from the next technological revolution. What do you think?

Space Funding Paves Way for New Approaches to Energy, Communication and Resources

British space technology will help pioneer new approaches to energy, communications and resources, thanks to new projects from the UK Space Agency.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

In the news this week we found a synchrony of topics. Much of the world is aware of the speaking points from U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this past Tuesday. In that speech, President Biden talked prominently about U.S. legislation in process to bring more technology manufacturing back to the states. In fact, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was not only an invited guest, but was referred to directly in the speech as a positive example. I can only assume that President Biden meant that moment to be a motivator for other CEOs in the industry.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: A European Roundup

Although it was originally proposed to hold a one-day face-to-face EIPC conference in Frankfurt, travel restrictions in Germany made this impractical. But the Technical Snapshot webinar format has proved so successful that it was decided to run an extended version as an alternative—two sessions, with three presentations each. It worked extremely well. The carefully selected program on February 23 featured excellent speakers, and seamless organisation added up to an outstanding event.

Finally! A Book About PCB Stackups

‘The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Stackups: The Design within the Design’ is the latest addition to I-Connect007’s comprehensive, educational library. In this book, brought to readers by Siemens Digital Industries Software and I-007eBooks, author and stackups expert Bill Hargin discusses materials, laminate datasheets, impedance planning, and more. This book provides the reader with a broader understanding of stackup planning and material selection in an effort to comprehend what Hargin calls “the design within the design.”

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022: The Supply Chain and Markets

Pete Starkey interviews Mark Goodwin, COO of Ventec International, on the impact of the current supply chain condition. Their conversation also covers aerospace and the U.S. market. If you were unable to attend IPC APEX EXPO 2022, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

NASA Selects Developer for Rocket to Retrieve First Samples from Mars

NASA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, to build the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), a small, lightweight rocket to launch rock, sediment, and atmospheric samples from the surface of the Red Planet.

High-Voltage Circuit Design Guidelines and Materials

The Hubble telescope, the Cassini-Huygens mission, and other exploratory spacecraft utilize high-voltage DC power supplies for everything from vidicon camera tubes and mass spectrometers to radar and laser technologies. NASA has experienced performance problems with the 1.5 kV supplies because—as a 2006 report stated—“designers did not take the high-voltage problems seriously in the initial design.” The report cited very narrow parts parameters, electrical insulation problems in dielectrics, ceramics, bad geometries, small spacing, the use of the wrong insulating materials, and thermal expansion as causes for the power supply failures.


Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO: Update From PCBAA

PCBAA Chairman Travis Kelly sits down with Nolan Johnson to discuss the new association’s recent activities and plans for the future. The Printed Circuit Board Association of America is focused on advocating for manufacturing in America. If you didn't make it to IPC APEX EXPO, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

Real Time with... IPC APEX EXPO: Advocacy in Washington

Editor Nolan Johnson sits down for an interview with Chris Mitchell, Vice President of Global Government Relations at IPC. They discuss the industry's advocacy in Washington to educate Congress on our key issues, as well as the growth in global advocacy by IPC. If you didn't make it to IPC APEX EXPO, don't worry. We're bringing you coverage of the week's events in San Diego, from ribbon cutting to teardown.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

We just wrapped up IPC APEX EXPO 2022, and I think it went better than anyone could have expected. I wasn’t sure the live show would actually take place. With the COVID protocols in California changing daily, no one knew for sure that a live show would even be allowed to open. But here's my picks for the week, both from the show and from the industry.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: Considering Supply Chain and Defense

Continuing the highly successful series of EIPC’s Technical Snapshots, and featuring a programme that attracted a record attendance, the 14th online event was held on January 19. The opening presentation came from the ever-cheerful Didrik Bech, of Elmatica, who promised to provide thoughts and ideas about how to secure the supply chain to ensure compliance, not only to reduce the risks but also to increase the opportunities. Stan Heltzel from ESA Materials and Processes Section in the Netherlands gave a fascinating detailed insight into ESA’s approach to microvia reliability. And Liisa Hakola, senior scientist and project manager at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland gave the final presentation on how sustainability creates new opportunities for electronics industry.

Catching Up With RBP Chemical and Schlötter

It’s always great to see two very good companies form a mutually beneficial alliance. I was lucky enough to watch this particular strategic partnership come to fruition this year between RBP Chemical and Schlötter. I wanted to talk to both companies, so I sat down with Matthias Hampel, global executive representative-PCB and electronics at Schlötter, and Ernest Litynski, president of RBP Chemical Technology, to get the inside story.

Rosalind Franklin Mars Rover Passes Latest Tests Ahead of September Launch

The European Space Agency (ESA) rover starts the year with months of successful maintenance and functional tests behind it. All its instruments are go for flight, with some minor tuning left to complete this month.

NASA Prepares SLS Moon Rockets for First Crewed Artemis Missions

As teams continue to prepare NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for its debut flight with the launch of Artemis I, NASA and its partners across the country have made great progress building the rocket for Artemis II, the first crewed Artemis mission.

Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022: Blackfox Mixes It Up with Training Opportunities

Andy Shaughnessy speaks with Jamie Noland, master IPC trainer and marketing manager for Blackfox Institute, about current and upcoming training opportunities and what you can expect from them at the show. Blackfox has expanded its offerings to reach a wider audience, including some very basic classes for beginners.

James Webb Space Telescope en Route to Discover Origins of the Universe, Study Exoplanets

A joint program between NASA and its counterparts in Europe (ESA) and Canada (CSA), Webb will observe the beginnings of our Universe by reaching back in time to just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It will also observe exoplanets – planets outside the Solar System – that are comparable to our own, as well as the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies. The ultimate aim of this successor to the iconic Hubble space telescope is to discover galaxies that reach back to the relative beginnings of the Universe. This state-of-the-art time machine is expected to revolutionize all aspects of modern astronomy. It will unveil the hidden side of the Universe, namely stars enveloped in clouds of dust, molecules in the atmosphere of other worlds, and the light issuing from the first stars and galaxies.

Georgia Tech Leads Effort to Strengthen State’s Defense Manufacturing Industry

Department of Defense grant enables collaboration with Spelman College, Technical College System of Georgia, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development in pilot project


Catching Up with Allen Keeney of Johns Hopkins University

I have always been fascinated by research labs, especially those tied to major universities. These are the true leaders of innovation and invention and at the very top of the PCB industry. So, when I met Allen Keeney, chief engineer of the Advanced Electrical Fabrication Group at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, I jumped at the chance to talk with him. You will enjoy this look at another facet of our PCB industry.

DoD Faces Growing Risks from Reliance on Lead in Electronics

Like a cancer that spreads untreated until it becomes an urgent problem, the U.S. defense community is facing a small but growing problem that is increasingly undermining U.S. military readiness and technological dominance. The problem is lead—specifically, the lead-alloy solders that traditionally have been used to attach electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCBs). Over the last 15 years, the commercial electronics industry has shifted to lead-free solders, prompted by environmental health regulations in Europe and elsewhere. However, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its contractors never made the switch and are still heavily reliant on leaded solders. Now, leaded electronics are becoming harder to find and more outdated.

Test and Inspection: Far Beyond Opens and Shorts

Gardien Vice President Todd Kolmodin talks about test and inspection market drivers from his perspective as a test service provider. Andy Shaughnessy and Happy Holden go down the “microvia rabbit hole” with Todd, as well as explore how OEM design requirements are driving test and inspection functionality and processes. When board layer counts and feature densities force longer test times, the tradeoffs to profitability for manufacturers become time and accuracy. Minimizing time while maximizing accuracy calls for new methods, which Kolmodin explains.

Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin to Build First-Of-Its-Kind Commercial Space Station

Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, has been awarded a $160 million contract by NASA to design its Starlab commercial space station as part of the agency’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Development program.

Happy Thanksgiving From the I-Connect007 Team

In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of gratitude and appreciation for the harvest and for the people close to us. Thankfulness, however, transcends just one day of official observance. The fourth Thursday of November is when the U.S. officially celebrates Thanksgiving Day and as we take time to observe this holiday, the I-Connect007 team wishes to offer our thanks to you, our global readers and contributors: designers, fabricators, engineers, assemblers, quality and process control gurus, chemists, physicists, supervisors, managers, entrepreneurs, business owners, standards writers, industry experts, and more. You breathe life into the vital, thriving, world-changing electronics industry. You are the real story.

RBP Discusses New Management and Plans for the Future

Ernie Litynski, president of RBP Chemical Technology and Dan Carey, incoming executive vice president, brief Nolan Johnson on the recent organizational changes that brought Carey on board. Both Litynski and Carey outline how they see these changes benefiting their customers and partners, including in the defense and aerospace sectors. As they explain, it's their expertise at helping solve problems that customers value most.

All Flex Discusses Merger and New Medical Applications

I recently spoke with Jamin Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing at All Flex Flexible Circuits in Minnesota. We discussed the company’s recent merger with Printed Circuits Inc., and some creative new flex applications, including flexible heaters and catheters for the medical field. As Jamin explains, "It’s always interesting to see different technologies amongst different companies. We’re working on a few new applications and products, like being able to do some fine lines and flex materials, but with large format, a longer format than usual. Some of their capabilities with lasering and fine features really help with our long flex capability; when we merge the two, we see a new market being created for that technology."

Catching Up With ACI’s Bryan Ricke

I recently visited with Bryan Ricke, business development director for Advanced Circuitry International. Bryan has been in the industry for several years, including his current position at ACI. I wanted to learn more about the type of RF and antennas that his company builds. Truthfully, in all my years in the industry, I had not heard about his company. I thought that was very interesting. As Ricke said, "Many of the largest antenna manufacturers in the world are our customers, as well as many smaller companies producing RF/microwave products. We also work with a lot of universities. Our customers say they like our commitment and the way we service them."

Honoring Those Who Served

On this Veteran’s Day holiday, the I-Connect007 staff takes a moment to honor those men and women over the years, who served to protect and defend their country. Just on the I-Connect007 staff, we have loved ones who served, ranging from World War I to present-day active-duty military. The holiday isn’t intended to be a political statement, but rather a reflection on service, duty, and personal sacrifice. In some cases, the ultimate sacrifice. Our staff has submitted images of veterans who are near and dear to their hearts. Check them out!

New Look for Ground-breaking UK-led ESA Mission to Detect Climate Change

TRUTHS, which stands for Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies, will provide a gold standard reference for satellites observing the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Conceived by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and funded by the UK Space Agency, TRUTHS is being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The satellite will be built by the UK space industry led by Airbus UK, along with partners across Europe, including Greece, Switzerland, Romania, and the Czech Republic, who have also provided funding for the mission.


Lockheed Martin, Rafael Partner to Develop SPICE-250 Weapon System For US Military

Lockheed Martin and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., of Israel, signed an expanded teaming agreement, allowing the team to jointly develop, market, manufacture and support Rafael's Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE™) 250 weapon system for sale in the United States and in Poland.

Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin Teaming to Develop Commercial Space Station

Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, has formed a team to develop the first-ever free flying commercial space station.

Hear Sounds From Mars Captured by NASA’s Perseverance Rover

Two microphones aboard the six-wheeled spacecraft add a new dimension to the way scientists and engineers explore the Red Planet. Thanks to two microphones aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover, the mission has recorded nearly five hours of Martian wind gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm.

IBM, Raytheon to Collaborate on Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography and Quantum Technologies

IBM and Raytheon Technologies will jointly develop advanced artificial intelligence, cryptographic and quantum solutions for the aerospace, defense and intelligence industries, including the federal government, as part of a strategic collaboration agreement the companies announced.

Science of Psyche: Unique Asteroid Holds Clues to Early Solar System

More than 150 years have passed since novelist Jules Verne wrote “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” but reality has yet to catch up with that science fiction adventure. While humans can’t bore a path to our planet’s metallic core, NASA has its sights set on visiting a giant asteroid that may be the frozen remains of the molten core of a bygone world.

Boeing's Latest 737-9 ecoDemonstrator Testing Crane A&Es New Long-range Sensing

Crane Aerospace & Electronics, a segment of Crane Co., has been selected to feature its new Long-Range Wireless Tire Pressure Sensors on Boeing’s 2021 737-9 ecoDemonstrator program.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

In some weeks, readership numbers are pretty even, which means I make my picks based on “excellence” or “achievement” of some sort. Other weeks, you readers “go viral” on a few key news items, making the selection process numerically driven. This was one of those weeks. Here, then, are the five most-read news items. Of course, leading the way are our esteemed technical editors, Pete Starkey and Dan Feinberg. These gentlemen are examples of my opening statement, as both enjoy huge popularity with readers precisely because they are so good at reporting on the industry.

ICT Autumn 2021 Webinar Review: High-voltage Testing and Advanced Antenna Materials

The Institute of Circuit Technology continues to deliver first-class on-line events. This year's ICT Autumn Webinar on September 7 presented papers by leading experts on high-voltage testing and advanced antenna materials. It was introduced and moderated by ICT Chair Emma Hudson.

BAE Systems Acquires In-Space Missions

BAE Systems has acquired In-Space Missions, a UK company that designs, builds and operates satellites and satellite systems. The acquisition will combine BAE Systems’ experience in highly secure satellite communications with In-Space Missions’ full lifecycle satellite capability, to make a compelling sovereign UK space offer.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Collects Puzzle Pieces of Mars’ History

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover successfully collected its first pair of rock samples, and scientists already are gaining new insights into the region. After collecting its first sample, named “Montdenier,” Sept. 6, the team collected a second, “Montagnac,” from the same rock Sept. 8.


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