Advancing Manufacturing Technology

2009 iNEMI Roadmap is Now Available to Industry

The 2009 Roadmap is now on sale. This latest roadmap covers five product sectors and 20 technology and infrastructure areas that encompass manufacturing, component/subsystem, design, and business process technologies.  New in this edition are chapters on photovoltaics, solid state illumination and RFID item-level tag (ILT).

The 2009 Roadmap was created by more than 550 individuals (the largest number of participants to date) from 250 organizations located in 18 countries on four continents.

“Despite the recession, there are continued advancements in technology,” said Jim McElroy, CEO of iNEMI.  “For example, technologies such as wafer-level packaging are more mainstream than in previous roadmaps.  There are also indications that new technologies requiring significant investments in R&D and capital equipment — such as through-silicon vias — are being delayed.

“One ‘theme’ that is repeated in many of the chapters is that of collaboration,” McElroy continued.  “As resources become more limited, companies look for ways to leverage their efforts.  We see this, for example, in the strengthening of vertical development teams across the supply chain.  We also see increased consortial activity on environmental initiatives.”

Some key highlights are discussed below.  (Download a PDF of Highlights & Trends).

Strategic approach to improving environmental performance

It is important for the electronics manufacturing industry to develop and implement good scientific methodologies to assess true environmental impacts of materials and potential trade-offs of alternatives. Industry must also be more involved in policy making on material restrictions so that policy makers understand trade-offs inherent in material substitutions.

Electronics manufacturers are taking a more proactive approach to environmental issues.  Several OEMs have efforts underway to remove halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) and/or PVC materials from their products.  However, it is difficult to orchestrate change across the supply chain when there is no regulatory deadline and when each firm is trying to develop its own requirements.  Consortia like iNEMI can drive a coordinated approach by establishing common requirements and assessing supply chain readiness.  An example is iNEMI’s HFR-Free Leadership Program, which is focused on establishing “technology envelopes,” or technical specifications, to guide development and deployment of HFR-free solutions.  (For more information.) Another example is iNEMI’s PVC Alternatives initiative, which will investigate a cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment (LCA) of PVC and “PVC-free” alternatives. (For more information.) Through performance testing of different PVC-free alternatives, the group intends to understand the electrical, mechanical and safety aspects of these alternatives.

Lifecycle assessment is suitable for strategic environmental assessments of a new technology or business model (e.g., new type of component, material, product or service).  However, a major issue inhibiting the use of LCA is the lack of peer-reviewed environmental data for the processes and materials used in high tech electronic equipment.

“More than Moore”

Advanced packaging is becoming critical for semiconductor growth. The introduction of new packaging requirements in the “More than Moore” era is generating a growing demand for innovation. New technologies, new materials and new package architectures are required, which will demand significant investment in research and development. The investment required to meet these challenges is greater than the current run rate and cannot be met through the gross margin of the assembly and packaging suppliers alone. There is evidence that activity is expanding in other areas to meet this need (university/research institute R&D, venture capital investments, industry innovations).

Despite these efforts, however, there is the concern that the current recession will delay development and qualification of advanced packaging technologies.

Electronics — empowering more sustainable lifestyles

While there is the responsibility to minimize the electronics industry’s environmental, health and safety impacts from operations, products and services, the compelling news is that the electronics industry has the opportunity to play a major role in helping to mitigate society’s impact on the environment. The electronics industry can use its products and services to help society function more efficiently and easily, while consuming less material and energy resources.

For example, electronic products have the potential to reduce energy consumption. Networked, embedded components can add intelligence to systems (e.g., vehicles, production plants), making it possible to optimize operations in variable environments. Initial efforts are likely to focus on the power grid, energy-smart homes and buildings, and smart lighting.

The electronics industry can also re-engineer the way organizations operate.  Replacing products with online services (e.g., online music downloads instead of CDs), moving business functions to the Internet (e.g., customer support), and adopting technology-enabled ways of working (e.g., telecommuting and videoconferencing) are examples of changes the electronics industry can produce.

Innovation can further improve energy efficiency of components, subsystems and full products. For example, replacing CRTs (cathode-ray tubes) with LCDs (liquid crystal displays) is a massive energy saving opportunity.  The potential for savings is even greater with the advancement of new technologies, such as LEDs (light emitting diodes) and OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes).

Recognizing the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the new Photovoltaics and Solid State Illumination chapters were added in this roadmap cycle to identify opportunities and needs in these developing fields.

About the iNEMI Roadmap

The iNEMI Roadmap maps the future manufacturing technology needs of the global electronics industry in an effort to identify key technology and infrastructure developments needed to ensure the competitiveness of the supply chain over the next decade. The iNEMI roadmap has become recognized as an important tool for defining the “state of the art” in the electronics industry as well as identifying emerging and disruptive technologies.  It also helps set priorities for research and development over the next 10 years, and is not only used by industry but also by government funding agencies and university-based research programs.

The cost of the roadmap is $250 for non-members ($325 outside North America).  For more information and to order, go to the iNEMI website.

About iNEMI
The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative’s mission is to identify and close technology gaps, which includes the development and integration of the electronics industry supply infrastructure.  This industry-led consortium is made up of more than 65 manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies and universities.  iNEMI roadmaps the needs of the electronics industry, identifies gaps in the technology infrastructure, establishes implementation projects to eliminate these gaps (both business and technical), and stimulates standards activities to speed the introduction of new technologies.  The consortium also works with government agencies, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives.  iNEMI is based in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.), with regional offices in Shanghai, China and Limerick, Ireland.  For additional information about iNEMI, visit http://www.inemi.org.

For further information:
Cynthia Williams
+1 207-871-1260
cwilliams@inemi.org