Organizing Electronics Worldwide

I recently put together a panel of experts to discuss the concept of “jisso,” and what the Jisso North American Council hopes to accomplish. It wasn't an easy task. One reason for this is that there is no English equivalent for the Japanese word to convey its exact meaning. Jisso, literally “mounting” in Japanese, looks at the interfaces between different segments of electronics — wafer fab, packaging, and assembly. The goal was designed to smooth the supply chain so that suppliers' and purchasers' specs could harmonize, and the final product could meet international standards and laws.

For the last 3 years, the Jisso International Committee, which includes IPC and key European OEMs, has been working to identify emerging technologies, define these, identify areas needing standardization or other efforts, and propose international standards harmonization wherever possible using existing national standards. Focus areas included environmental laws, modules and packages, high-data-rate copper structures, and optoelectronics, which are experiencing resurgence particularly in Japan in non-telecom areas.

Most of the members agree that there needs to be enough standardization in electronics to ease new product development. Laura Turbini, Ph.D., has taught electronics in the university setting for many years, and she objected to the proposed new jisso level descriptions:

Level 1: Bare die and wafer-level packages;
Level 2: Various formats of single IC packages;
Level 4: Electronic Product board assembly;
Level 5: Back plane and system integration.

“Why should we change our levels now just to fit this new international description?” she asked.

Associations worldwide are contributing to the jisso efforts. In Japan, these organizations are contributing: EIAJ, JIEP, JPCA, JARA, SEAJ, and SIRIJ. In Southeast Asia, these are the jisso leaders: Korean SIA, Taiwan SIA, ITRI, Gintic Institute, the Institute of Micro Electronics, and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. In the U.S., the active participants include IPC, SSTA, SIA, SEMATECH, and the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp. With so much cooperation, the need to break barriers must be strong.

I'm certain that there will be other areas where standardization raises questions. However, this year, even the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative Inc. (NEMI) is thinking of changing their name to the INEMI, with the “I” representing International. Why? NEMI is a North American-based consortium whose mission is providing leadership for the global manufacturing supply chain for the benefit of its member companies and the industry. Perhaps it's because, as NEMI roadmaps the needs of the industry to identify gaps, the organization realizes that electronics is a worldwide industry.

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Will there be more problems than the basic definitions when dealing with standardization? You betcha. Is it worth it if we all thrive? You betcha.

Gail Flower


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