Conversations with...Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.

I-Connect007 editor Richard Ayes recently interviewed Rafael Nestor Mantaring, vice president for design and development at Philippines-based EMS firm Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI), who discusses the benefits and impact of printed electronics for the electronics manufacturing industry and the current challenges the technology faces.

Richard Ayes: Printed electronics has been around for a long time, but during the past few years, it has become of the hottest topics in the industry. What can you say about the developments in this space?

Rafael Nestor Mantaring: While the past few years have seen rapid developments in this field, the applications are still limited or very niche. That is because active circuits produced using printed electronics suffer in performance and require a larger area when compared to circuits fabricated using conventional substrates. But it has its space: in displays, thin batteries, solar panels--although still at a very low efficiency--wearable electronics, and sensors.

Ayes: From your perspective, what is the impact of printed electronics in the EMS/PCBA industry?

Mantaring: I don’t expect it to have any significant impact in the short to medium term. Because the applications are very niche, EMS companies may not find the target markets or applications attractive. Furthermore, suppliers will likely do their own manufacturing. After all, one of the attractions of printed electronics is that it supposedly can be done with relatively inexpensive equipment.

Ayes: What are the benefits of PE in electronics manufacturing?

Mantaring: One of the promises of printed electronics is being able to prototype circuits inexpensively and by yourself. This could accelerate the development of electronic products in the future. On the other hand, printed electronics has the potential of supplying components with special requirements to EMS companies. For example, very thin batteries and very flexible assemblies.

Ayes: What about the challenges in this space?

Mantaring: The challenges are producing faster, more efficient, and smaller circuits. This requires developing the right materials: that is, the inks that are “printed” on the chosen substrate and the high-resolution printing equipment.Read the full column here.Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of SMT Magazine.

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2014

Conversations with...Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.

09-10-2014

I-Connect007 editor Richard Ayes recently interviewed Rafael Nestor Mantaring, vice president for design and development at Philippines-based EMS firm Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI), who discusses the benefits and impact of printed electronics for the electronics manufacturing industry and the current challenges the technology faces.

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Design for Manufacturing: Mythbusting - Semi-additive Process Makes Sub-3/3 a Reality

05-14-2014

PCB designers used to have good reasons for avoiding trace widths and spaces smaller than 3 mils beyond very short spans. But the 3-mil limitation is now becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the use of semi-additive fabrication by some board manufacturers. The main reason designers steered clear of sub-3-mil lines and spaces for more than short distances is etch factor.

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2013

Connecting the Dots: The CAD Library, Part 2

11-06-2013

Before looking at libraries, Columnist Jack Olson says it's helpful to have a basic understanding of how circuit boards are fabricated. Part 1 of this series did just that. Now, Olson examines plated holes because they can also be stored as library parts.

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Connecting the Dots: Nothing's Perfect - Understanding Tolerance

07-17-2013

It would be irresponsible of Jack Olson to withhold the bad news: Nothing is perfect. In his latest column, he explains the grim reality: Designs must account for some amount of real-world manufacturing tolerance.

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PCB Design Data: What Do Your Customers Expect?

04-24-2013

What does a circuit board designer produce? Who are our customers, and what do they expect from us? Jack Olson provides a brief description of the types of data you will be providing during various stages of the electronics development process.

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What's Your PCB Assembly IQ? - Corrosion Happens by Marissa Oskarsen

04-09-2013

Corrosion of printed circuit assemblies happens--and it's going to happen more and more as components get smaller and operating environments become more harsh. Do you know what causes, and prevents, PCBA corrosion? Take this 10-question quiz to determine your corrosion IQ.

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Connecting the Dots: What is a Circuit Board?

03-20-2013

Before starting the design process, we need to have a clear goal in mind. What exactly does a circuit board designer create? Jack Olson provides a basic introduction to circuit boards from the very beginning, exploring the design process step-by-step and connecting the dots along the way.

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Connecting the Dots: Schematic Diagrams

02-27-2013

Last month, the schematic was introduced as the method of recording and sharing electronic ideas. The schematic provides enough information to select appropriate components and connect them during the design phase. In this month's column, Jack Olson explains the guidelines and conventions that will make schematics easier to interpret.

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FabFile Online Report: FabFile Flashes

01-10-2013

Columnist Harvey Miller is back with new insights for the fabrication industry. He writes: "I learn so much while updating the Fabfile Online database of global PCB fabricators. Some of it may be of interest to others, so I'll occasionally share it in bite-sized portions, under the name 'Fabfile Flashes.'"

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2012

Evolutionary Solutions: Providing World-Class Service

12-20-2012

Is your company striving to become a world-class provider? As you may have already learned, the bar is raised constantly higher for companies trying to reach such excellence. Karla Osorno offers tips and processes to make clearing that bar much easier.

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Oh, Really? The Tyranny of Sound Bites & the Sad Saga of Conflict Minerals

12-05-2012

Tony Hilvers has been following the issue of conflict minerals for three years. When he first heard about conflict minerals he thought the industry could simply stop buying these products from the warlords who operate the mines in the DRC. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

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Oh, Really? - Why Did I Stay So Long?

10-26-2012

SMT Magazine's newest columnist, Tony Hilvers, discusses his path to joining IPC, why he stayed as long as he did, and the nearly three decades he spent shaping the industry. The best part? He can now say whatever he wants.

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2011

Maxed Out: Ancient and Modern Tablets

10-19-2011

As fate would have it, I have two tablet devices sitting on my desk. One is an iPad 2 tablet computer that is pretty much state-of-the-art for today. The other is a clay tablet that was considered state-of-the-art 4,200 years ago.

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Material Witness: R.I.P. Speedboard C

06-06-2011

When W. L. Gore announced plans to discontinue their Speedboard C product, it created a bit of a stir in the marketplace. Its key properties in this writer's mind were the low dielectric constant and reasonable loss, combined with the fact that it was a high-Tg thermoset system that stuck well to a variety of materials. But products with similar properties do exist.

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Jack Olson: Preparing for Component Placement

01-26-2011

Jack Olson is creating an introductory tutorial Web site for novice circuit board designers. The site is not yet complete, but we can't resist giving readers a sneak preview. His latest chapter outlines one approach to component placement. This week, we look at Olson's preparations for placement.

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Material Witness: Are Your Materials Up to the Challenge?

01-12-2011

Apples, cell phones and 12-year-old girls all fall governed by the same gravitational force and, unless something acts to retard their fall, hit the ground at about the same speed. It's not the falling that breaks bones, bruises apples and damages cell phones--it's the stopping.

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2010

The Bleeding Edge: The Future of the PCB

12-08-2010

The demise of the PCB will not be a sudden event, but more of a chipping away at the edges. There will still be companies whose products need a PCB; many OEMs simply won't have the millions of dollars needed to design and R&D a super MCM.

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Material Witness: Thermal Oxidation of Materials, Part II

11-19-2010

After working to determine the way oxidation affects PWB polymers, Chet Guiles offers a look at data that gives "interesting" observations. In part two of his column, he looks at the preliminary work that addressed the way polymers are affected when aged in oxidative environments.

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Material Witness: Thermal Oxidation of Materials, Part I

11-09-2010

After working to determine the way oxidation affects PWB polymers, Chet Guiles offers a look at data that gives "interesting" observations. Guiles says, "I make no claim to having developed the Universal Theory of PWB Oxidation, but what we have found is both interesting and, I think, instructive."

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Material Witness: Tg, CTEZ and the Implications of So-Called Standard Testing

10-26-2010

Different methods of determining Tg (TMA, DSC, DMA) will give somewhat different numeric results and may serve to make a data sheet look a little better (or worse). But remember: The material is what it is because of its chemistry and composition, and while testing may be helpful in selecting materials, it does not ever tell the entire story.

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Material Witness: Rheology, Part I

08-16-2010

What is "rheology" and why does "everything flow?" Chet Guiles examines the science of rheology and how understanding the rheology of the prepregs you use, during the time they melt and flow, can help a process engineer manage and control the lamination process.

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Material Witness: Rheology, Part II

08-12-2010

"Everything flows," as Heraclitus opined. Last time we talked about a practical application of the theoretical formula for resin flow to establishing lamination pressure for various-sized panels of the same prepreg. But suppose you have a variety of different board designs and the prepreg just doesn't flow the way you want it. Then what?

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Jack Olson: Component Placement Tutorial, Part II

06-30-2010

At this point, you should have mounting holes, tooling holes and fiducials placed, keepout areas defined and components with fixed locations placed and locked down. You've decided whether your design will be single-sided or double-sided. Now, let's get started placing components!

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Material Witness: Considerations in Using TC Materials for PWBs

05-18-2010

It's one thing to know you have to reduce the temperature at active devices mounted on a PWB, but it's another altogether to do so while maintaining a "normal" manufacturing and assembly process for circuit boards. In my last column we discussed material properties; this week we will cover the practical issues involved.

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Material Witness: Beat the Heat--A Non-Math Intro to Thermal Properties

04-27-2010

Lead-free solder technology has resulted in stresses on PTHs due to higher temperature excursions and cracks in solders that are more brittle than their tin-lead ancestors. Since most devices exhibit a mean time to failure that is cut in half with every 10 degrees C temperature increase, managing temperature is critical to product life expectancy.

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Slash Sheet Chaos: Is What You See, What You Get?

02-16-2010

Don't be a victim of slash sheet confusion. Ask for and expect your suppliers to provide clean and real differentiations between their products. Make sure that when you buy a lower cost "alternative" that it is really the same thing you've been using.

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2009

Maxed Out: Max's Display-O-Meter Takes Shape

02-25-2009

Max continues to work on his Display-O-Meter, a cool gadget inspired by a device shown in an e-mail illustrating the differences between men and women. (Yes, that e-mail.) This week, Max explores the finer points of LEDs, as well as the surprisingly large market for antique knobs and switches.

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2008

Maxed Out: Using Transistors to Build Logic Functions - The Finale!

06-18-2008

So, if NMOS is so much simpler than CMOS, why do electronics use so many CMOS implementations? Read on, tech fans!

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The Bleeding Edge: It's All about Pitch

04-28-2008

Two years ago, we wrote an article about looking in the crystal ball regarding the printed circuit business--the article received both kudos and criticism. We will admit, here and now, that the prediction of major change in the printed circuit business was quite wrong.

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Maxed Out: DSP? No, I Always Walk This Way! by Clive Maxwell

03-12-2008

So what exactly does DSP mean - digital signal processor or digital signal processing? Read on to find out.

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2007

The Bleeding Edge: Designing Microelectronic Printed Circuits

11-15-2007

The very fine lines that used to be unavailable to designers will now become mainstream, with the old absolute minimum line width of 75 microns (3 mils) giving way to 30 microns (1.2 mil ) or less.

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2006

Proof of Design - Supplier Evaluation And Qualification Here and Off Shore - Part II

01-03-2006

"Long story short, we had the same issues qualifying the offshore/Asian suppliers that you have mentioned in your lengthy and very informative article on pcb007.com

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2004

Part 1: PCB Designers Notebook: Microelectronics and SMT

06-01-2004

Portable and wireless electronics represent the most aggressive growth area for high-density PCB technology.

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PCB Designers Notebook: SMT Land Patterns for Lead-free

05-01-2004

Designers have expressed concern regarding the impact of the lead-free soldering process on the SMT land-pattern geometry furnished on existing and future circuit board designs.

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2003

Conclusion: The Outsourcing Option

08-01-2003

In this column we will discuss examples of questions to assess supplier capabilities in manufacturing and quality.

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