The long-awaited 2011 IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections was released last month at IPC APEX EXPO® 2012. Published biennially, the IPC Roadmap serves as an authoritative guide to interconnect technological trends, providing a vision of imminent, innovative technology. The 2011 roadmap incorporates revealing data and comparisons to help users serve clients and/or guide their companies in identifying, selecting and developing the right technology alternatives to create the products needed for future markets.
“We’ve turned the roadmap inside out to help users connect the dots a little easier, in terms of translating OEM system level requirements into the materials, features, structures and process requirements for printed boards and assemblies to support those needs,” says John (Jack) Fisher, president of Interconnect Technology Analysis, Inc. and chairman of the IPC Roadmap Executive Committee.
“Savvy companies can get a leg up on their competition by using the roadmap to help consult clients and customers on technology … being proactive about future needs as opposed to reactive,” adds Fisher. “The hard and complex work of compiling all the OEM input and data is done. The forecasts are complete. All that companies have to do is use this tool to position their companies or to serve clients more completely … not just for now, but to help them prepare for the future … Being proactive, rather than reactive — that’s what’s going to help ensure this industry thrives.”
The 2011 roadmap includes expanded regional analysis and comparison. In both the substrate and assembly sections, the 2011 roadmap provides insight into the regional differences in capability between Asia, Europe and North America. According to Marc Carter, IPC director of technology transfer, the new data sheds light on the important distinction between acknowledging a technology and actually having the capability to employ it.
“We’re equipping users, especially purchasing staff, with information to go from making a cheap decision to an informed decision,” says Carter.
Another essential addition to the 2011 Roadmap is the link of emulators to industry standards and specifications. A new section discusses the changes that need to occur in industry standards content to make them relevant to tomorrow’s needs. This includes the addition of a state-of-the-art level for product features that demand a higher degree of precision — a level that Carter admits very few manufacturers can provide.
In areas where changes occur with dizzying speed such as the environment, health and safety; regulations and global stewardship, the roadmap has been updated to reflect the current state as well as future issues.
As the IPC Roadmap Committee embarks on the development of the 2013 roadmap, the group invites anyone interested in helping make each successive release more comprehensive to join in its efforts. For details on getting involved, contact Carter at MarcCarter@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2826, or Jeanne Cooney, IPC manager of ANSI programs, at JeanneCooney@ipc.org or +1 847-597-2842.
Published as a CD, the roadmap includes several technical resource presentations that users can access easily at their workplace. For more information or to purchase 2011 IPC International Technology Roadmap for Electronic Interconnections, visit www.ipc.org/roadmap.