Defining the New World

Where are 2 1/2D and 3D going? How will “active” interposers be defined — and where will they be used? What’s the real scoop for TSVs (through-silicon vias)? The Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium held this month seemed to confuse some attendees and point out the apparent need to sort out the terminology used in various packaging schemes. One must wonder how the discovery of “artificial graphene” reported by a European university will affect the development of applications for the real thing?

Value and change — topics for consideration and discussion. How do you determine value? How much is a semiautomatic printer for LPISMs worth if it can produce better than 2.0 mil (50um) dams in 1.0 mil (25um) thick solder mask? How much is a system that exposes a “standard” mask in less than 7 sec. worth? At what point does one replace a fully depreciated piece of equipment or a line with a more advanced capable system? What is the ideal or minimum practical “payback” time in your facility? How much does it truly cost you to evaluate a “free” sample of a material or specialty chemical? Can you determine the value of a new system/product simply by yield improvement? Or by throughput? Or reduction in energy usage? Or waste disposal costs? What would it take for you to install a new “not-in-kind system” replace an old “standard”? How do you respond to an offer of a “new” technology? What claims or benefits would motivate you to take action to evaluate it? Let us know!