iNEMI Project Activity in the First Quarter
This year has gotten off to a strong start with two projects reporting Phase 1 results and two new projects launching.
Project results reported
The Conformal Coating Evaluation for Improved Environmental Protection project team reported their success in developing a fast and effective method for testing conformal coatings. The conventional method of testing the effectiveness of conformal coatings typically requires many months to determine mean time to failure. iNEMI’s Conformal Coating team was able to reduce that time to one week, resulting in cost savings and faster time to market. The team reported on the test method and the performance evaluation results of acrylic, silicone and atomic layer deposition (ALD) conformal coatings. The presentation is available online.
iNEMI is currently organizing Phase 2 of the project. The team plans to compare the performance of conformal coatings exposed to a flowers-of-sulfur (FoS) chamber, (as was used in Phase 1) with coatings exposed to a mixed flowing gas (MFG) environment. This comparison is important because, while the FoS environmental chamber is inexpensive, it consists simply of sulfur vapors in humid air. The MFG environment is more complex and well established in the industry for testing electronic hardware for susceptibility to atmospheric corrosion. The test method will be further refined to demonstrate its applicability and potential as a standardized test for evaluating and qualifying conformal coatings. A Phase 2 call-for-participation webinar is scheduled for April 7. For additional information, contact Haley Fu (email@example.com).
The 1st Level Interconnect Void Characterization project recently reported Phase 1 results, which focused on developing processes to consistently build test samples with and without first-level interconnect voids. The capabilities of existing X-ray inspection technologies for identifying and quantifying micro voiding in solder joints were also evaluated in this phase. For more details about the Phase 1 report, see the related article in this issue (Inspection and Reliability Study of Voids in First-Level Interconnects for Flip Chip Packages).
The next phase of the project will focus on assessing the first-level joint reliability in electromigration, thermal cycle and thermal shock testing. For additional information, contact Masahiro Tsuriya (firstname.lastname@example.org).
New projects launched
The Data Management Best Practices for PCB Assembly project plans to develop a generic reference data flow architecture and best practices for a typical electronics assembly line that can be shared with industry to enable efficient implementation of smart PCB assembly in a manufacturing environment where diverse supplier equipment is used. Phase 1 of the project, which is currently underway, will develop the reference architecture and best practices, based on at least one use case that represents one key electronic assembly process step. For additional information, contact Mark Schaffer (email@example.com).
Phase 3 of the Connector Reliability Test Methodologies project will define and develop a test vehicle to demonstrate the methodology developed in Phases 1 and 2. The goal is to enable reliable qualification of USB-C connectors and selected new Level 4 connectors for a broader range of applications. As proof-of-concept of the defined methodology, the team will define a test vehicle and select several different types of level 4 (board-to-board) connectors along with USB-C connectors and evaluate its response to the proposed test framework. The work of this team will inform the industry at large to reliably qualify new connectors and existing connectors for a broader range of applications. Additionally, the team’s findings will be shared with relevant standards organizations to improve existing requirements. For additional information, contact Mark Schaffer (firstname.lastname@example.org).