USA: The 2013 roadmap from the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) identifies numerous trends that will shape the landscape of the electronics manufacturing industry over the next decade.
Cloud computing, the explosive growth of MEMS and sensors, and sustainability issues are common themes throughout the document. The roadmap also pinpoints critical technology gaps and areas where R&D efforts should be focused.
"In the 20 years that we've been creating roadmaps for the electronics manufacturing industry, each successive edition has built on, and improved upon, the previous one," said Bill Bader, CEO of iNEMI.
"The first roadmap, published in 1994, was created by the US electronics industry and covered only nine technology areas, focusing primarily on assembly and packaging, and electronic components. Since then, we have broadened our focus in terms of geography and technology, and increased the depth of discussion. We now have a truly global perspective, thanks to the contributors located around the world, and this latest roadmap covers 20 technology areas and six product sectors, encompassing the entire electronics manufacturing supply chain."
Cloud computing figures prominently in this latest roadmap, and has the potential to create the most significant paradigm shifts, bringing about major changes to business models in the next four to five years. Similarly, the increased use of MEMS and sensors in a growing number of applications (cell phones, medical electronics, automotive) has repercussions across multiple product sectors.
Concerns about sustainability are still at the forefront while companies continue to grapple with the lack of industry-wide assessment methodologies to evaluate alternative materials and the need for data to assess and quantify environmental impact of products in a consistent way.
Faster rates of change in miniaturization, driven by the explosion of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, are resulting in increased use of complex, 3D assemblies and solutions, such as system-in-package (SiP). These solutions, however, come with their own sets of challenges.
Lack of test access, pick and place of 3D thin chips or bare 3D stacked chips with irregular shapes, rework processes and heat sink attachment all become more difficult.