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The Importance of Materials Selection to Solve Hardware Design Challenges

One of the most overlooked aspects of hardware design is the key role that materials selection plays in the overall product development process. For example, laminates are the foundation upon which all other components, both hardware and software, depend in order to ensure that the products into which they are incorporated are functionally operational. The selection of the most effective materials is now a complicated process, as there are a broad scale of materials available from multiple sources,with varying characteristics and properties that may or may not enable the proper operation and longevity of a product.  Throw in the cost factor and the decision is even more challenging.
Most electronic hardware design ultimately relies on the laminate for functionality. Eventual product failure can sometimes be traced back to inappropriate selection of laminate materials, and in today's designs this can be a big issue. The entire electronic assembly is comprised of different materials which must be compatible,such as:

  • copper,
  • solder balls,
  • components,
  • other active and passive devices,
  • connectors, and
  • cables.

As one example, if the materials' Coefficients of Thermal Expansion (CTEs) don't  all fall within the same small window, products can very often fail merely due to exposure to a thermal excursion. In real applications, there can be substantial CTE mismatch between copper, laminate, silicon, and lead-free solder. This can lead to extremely high stresses, the brunt of which is borne by the laminate.

Other examples include:

  • difference in elastic and/or plastic moduli
  • fiber weave effect
  • thermal management

Tarun Amla, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Isola Group, will deliver a keynote address at the Semico Impact Conference on Oct 13th, 2015, which will identify the issues and demonstrate how the use of appropriate tools can ensure the best decisions up and down the ecosystem to meet product needs and fulfill your economic goals.  It's imperative that material characteristics are correctly understood and evaluated based on their inherent materials science and operational characteristics.This keynote will discuss the importance of careful selection of materials to avoid failure in hardware applications.

Register today to reserve your seat at Boards, Chips and Packaging:  Designing to Maximize Results.  This Semico IMPACT Conference will provide a lineup of thought-provoking keynotes and enlightening panels.  If you are a board designer, system architect, an SoC designer or an ASIC design manager, plan to attend this event on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the Computer History Museum (1401 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, California 94043).
What:  Semico IMPACT 2015
When:  October 13, 2015
Where:  Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, California 94043
Visit our website for more information and to register.


For more information, contact Rick Vogelei.
Phone: (480) 435 - 8564
About Semico
Semico is a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Semico was founded in 1994 by a group of semiconductor industry experts. We have improved the validity of semiconductor product forecasts via technology roadmaps in end-use markets. Semico offers custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences.


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