MicroTech 2017 A Great UK Conference

BY KEITH BRYANT

■ The site as it is today.

Over 120 delegates congregated at Rutherford Appleton Labs for this recent IMAPS-UK event, a wonderful historic venue with a state of the art Amphitheatre.

IMAPS-UK is the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Microelectronics Assembly & Packaging Society, a global community of microelectronic related engineers, scientists, manufacturers, end-users and supply chain companies. The Society aims to support the development and growth of Microelectronics and related industries and to aid the transfer of knowledge and information.

Through its links with the Appleton Laboratory, the laboratory can trace a history back to 1921. A laboratory has existed on the Chilton site since 1957 when the then Rutherford High Energy Laboratory, an establishment of the National Institute for Research in Nuclear Science, was set up. Following mergers with the Atlas and Appleton Laboratories in 1975 and 1979 respectively, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory was formed with a diverse remit to support a wide range of university research activities.

They are now one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations supporting scientists and engineers worldwide. Operating world-class large-scale research facilities, managing the UK access to large-scale facilities in other countries, providing strategic advice to the government on development of large-scale science facilities and managing international research projects in support of a broad cross-section of the UK research community, many leading-edge companies are housed on the campus. The perfect venue for a conference focussing on advanced packaging and technology trends.

MicroTech brought together the entire microelectronics supply chain and is the only UK event dedicated to Micro-Assembly and related technologies. The conference featured Keynote talks from iNEMI the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative and the Fraunhofer IZM, Department of System Integration and Interconnection Technologies, plus technical presentations and table top exhibits on the latest developments, technologies and capabilities, in addition to poster displays from UK research institutions.

The first keynote speaker was Grace O’Malley from iNEMI, who spoke on Packaging trends and challenges, an ideal way to kick off the event. She shared their Roadmap for the next 10 years, put together from data sourced from over 500 participants, from more than 350 organisations in over 20 countries. Over 10 man years of resources went into the almost 2000 pages of information, so it was really interesting stuff. Topics covered: Fan Out and Fan In WLP, their challenges and predictions for the future technology growth, TSV, SiP, stacked die, 2.5D, 3D and much more. Also, touching on thermal management, material challenges, supply chain and the need for new materials including Nano tubes and particles. She really set the tone for the event and the other speakers built on this platform and shared much knowledge and interesting data with the audience.

■ The amphitheatre.

13 great presentations were crammed into the day, with speakers coming from Europe and beyond, including Academic research presented by students which was a nice touch. Another keynote started the afternoon session, entitled ‘Panel Level Embedding for Power and Sensor Applications’, presented by Rolf Aschenbrenne of the Fraunhofer IZM. Again, another topic of great interest to the audience. A very interesting look at what he described as, ‘The intelligent combination of Wafer Level Processing, FO WLP and PCB Embedding’. Contrasting the process steps with FOWLP and sharing some challenges, test vehicle information and even a production line layout, it was a real glimpse into the future.

The breaks were taken in another building which housed the Posters and table top exhibition, again very well supported by the main industry players. The room contained some really interesting objects of historical significance including an IBM main frame from the 1960’s, Rutherford Labs bought 2 of the 5 built, each cost over $1M and have the RAM of today’s home printers.

This was a well organised, well attended event and proof that a good Agenda and a suitable location will bring in a good audience.

■ Exhibition area.

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