Breaking Away

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Remember when you first set off to college? Every assignment was an excuse to learn as much as you could about a subject, then to use what you learned in a creative way. The best part of it was that there were no consequences for coming up with the wrong answers. Wrong or right, as long as you learned the scientific method and used the right processes, it didn't matter if your ideas resulted in a moneymaking venture. Now, in the real world, taking a chance may be risky with real and direct consequences.

Lately, I've been reading textbooks, industry news, economic viewpoints, numerous articles on packaging and talking to as many industry experts as available to see what Advanced Packaging can bring to the packaging field. Looking at the SEMI book-to-bill rating, which has been flat during the last six months, indications are that semiconductor manufacturers are still restructuring and consolidating. Still, Stan Myers, president and CEO of SEMI, hasn't lost hope, saying, “While the bookings outlook appears sluggish, over 20 new fabs are expected to begin production in the next two years.”

Industry experts are interested in challenges involved in the integration design of chips and packages; reducing the cost of flip chips, chip scale packaging (CSP) and wafer-level packaging (WLP); designing for board-level reliability, creating meaningful simulations for electrical, thermal and reliable advanced packages; achieving integrated circuit (IC) connection density; wire bonding software designs; folding, stacking and interconnecting chips; thermal dissipation methods; interconnecting system-in-package (SiP) or system-on-chip (SoC); and using interposer boards to make up for the difference between advanced package and board interconnects. What are you working on at your company?

There's never a better time to consider new ideas. You may not use every one, but if you lose your vision, your optimism, your ability to think creatively, the competition will find a way to reach new markets while you're busy cutting costs, jobs, travel and meeting budgets. The more we get to know our readers, the more encouraging it seems. It takes both visionary dreamers and practical schemers, and thankfully this industry has plenty of both kinds of leaders.

Call me with your plans. Slow times can provide time to think and invest in future products. Keep the faith.

Gail Flower


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