Every iNEMI roadmap since 1996 has pointed toward the importance of embedded passives for providing critical functionality and density improvements for several product sectors. Passive devices account for up to 90% of the component placements required in the manufacturing process, and take up to 40% of the space on the PWB. Embedding these devices into the PWB will increase product density (enabling smaller size, greater performance and higher speeds) and simplify the board assembly manufacturing process.
In 1998, iNEMI teamed with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), IPC's former Interconnect Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and a dozen industry partners to form the Advanced Embedded Passives Technology (AEPT) Consortium. Funded by industry and the NIST Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and managed by NCMS, the project focused on developing the materials, design and processing technology for embedding passive devices (resistors and capacitors) into circuit board substrates.
This project was completed in early 2003. Key innovations included improved materials, along with the process and design accommodations needed to use these materials. Sintered polymers, filled and unfilled polymers, solution coated materials, ceramic pastes and selective plating for forming embedded passive devices were developed by the AEPT Consortium, resulting in several viable commercial solutions for producing embedded passives. The project also developed several standard specifications: