Watching Advancement of Technology in Paradise

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Kazunari Koga and I had the privilege of presenting at this year’s SMTA Pan Pacific Symposium in Kauai, Hawaii. It’s not often you get to go to Hawaii for a business trip, but in our case, it was definitely worth the effort in attending and participating at this event.

At the conference, we met with truly smart individuals across the industry from around the world, including members of the academic field and representatives from major global companies. This year’s event focused on many topics related to key technology areas, such as wearable devices, internet of things (IoT), automotive, and big data. Presentations covered key subjects on both research, design, test, and manufacturing, especially around the areas of advanced packaging. With the increasing adoption of the use of interposers on advanced substrate designs, we learned more about the comparisons between cost and performance of silicon interposers vs glass and organic material. I believe the key in adoption of the use of interposers will be the cost effectiveness of realizing healthy margins in high volume production.

I also enjoyed the many papers on flexible printed circuit boards and other materials for electronic circuits that have been tested for durability for wearable products. Many tests have been conducted to analyze the amount of stress that can be applied to these materials – can the material continue to bend without fractures in the circuit during a two year product life cycle? They also looked at signal quality and performance. With the advancements in research made by many of the universities and research teams involved, I believe it will be exciting to see what technologies are adopted for consumer design, which will no doubt hit the market in the next few years.

Design ForceTo compliment the variety of subjects that were covered at the conference, we got the opportunity to present from an EDA perspective, how many of these technologies can be realized for production design. With the topic of time-to-market pressures constantly stressed during the conference, we were able to show how co-design methodologies for chip, package and PCB co-design can help address those challenges. We shared how interposers and TSVs can be considered both during the exploratory or path finding stage, down to the actual implementation of the product design. Also, the problems faced in the market are “3D”, so we also shared how a native system-level 3D environment is key to not only view an electronic system with mechanical enclosures, but also optimize the interconnects between each layer or object in the system.

The conference gave us an insight into the many new advancements in the industry, and it was a privilege to be invited to be involved. Next year’s Pan Pacific Symposium from SMTA is on the Big Island….and we are already thinking of topics to submit 🙂

Written by

Humair Mandavia is the chief strategy officer at Zuken, responsible for the SOZO Center, Zuken’s US R&D division in Silicon Valley. His responsibilities include working with industry-leading companies in the automotive, IoT, and other key technology sectors to help drive the latest innovations in electronic design to the market. A member of the Zuken team since 2004, his past roles include solutions architect, product manager, and director of engineering. Professional experience includes working as hardware design engineer at ADC Telecommunications designing ATM and SONET applications. Mandavia received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering and his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas, and is a current board member for Si2.