Around the World

JEDEC Updates DDR5 SDRAM Standard

ARLINGTON, VA – JEDEC in April published the JESD79-5C DDR5 SDRAM standard, which includes features designed to improve reliability and security and enhance performance in applications from high-performance servers to emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning.

JESD79-5C introduces a method to improve DRAM data integrity called Per-Row Activation Counting (PRAC). PRAC precisely counts DRAM activations on a wordline granularity. When PRAC-enabled DRAM detects an excessive number of activations, it alerts the system to pause traffic and to designate time for mitigative measures. These interrelated actions underpin PRAC’s ability to provide a fundamentally accurate and predictable approach for addressing data integrity challenges through close coordination between the DRAM and system.

JESD79-5C DDR5 also:

  • Expands timing parameters definition from 6800Mbps to 8800Mbps
  • Includes DRAM core timings and Tx/Rx AC timings extended up to 8800Mbps, compared to the previous version which supported only up to 6400 timing parameters and partial pieces up to 7200 DRAM core timings
  • Introduces self-refresh exit clock sync for I/O training optimization
  • Incorporates DDP (dual-die package) timings
  • Deprecates PASR (partial array self-refresh) to address security concerns.

“I’m delighted to highlight the collaborative efforts of JEDEC’s JC-42 Committee for Solid State Memory to advance the DDR5 standard,” said Mian Quddus, chairman of JEDEC’s board of directors. “Groundbreaking new features in JESD79-5C are intended to support ever-evolving industry demands for security, reliability and performance in a wide range of applications.”

“The JC-42 Committee is pleased to unveil PRAC, a comprehensive solution to help ensure DRAM data integrity, as an integral component of the DDR5 update. Work is underway to incorporate this feature into other DRAM product families within JEDEC,” said Christopher Cox, JC-42 committee chair.Article ending bug


TTM Opens PCB Fabrication Plant in Penang

PENANG – TTM Technologies officially opened a $200 million, state-of-the-art printed circuit board manufacturing plant here, its first in Penang. TTM anticipates that the new plant will generate annual revenue of about $180 million (approximately RM855 million) by 2025.

Built on 27 acres in Penang Science Park, the printed circuit board fabricator’s state-of-the-art automated facility is customized to support mass production for various commercial end-markets, including networking, data center computing, medical, industrial, and instrumentation.

The new facility is configured to minimize energy and water consumption and will reduce the carbon footprint by 60% compared to a traditional PCB plant while still meeting rigorous environmental operational standards.

TTM expects to employ up to 1,000 workers at the site over time. A Phase 2 expansion could increase estimated revenues by 25%.

In a statement, TTM called the plant the result of “close collaboration” with its customers to address demand for geographical manufacturing diversity and PCB supply chain resilience.

“The opening of our flagship plant in Penang marks a significant milestone for TTM,” said Thomas Edman, president and chief executive, TTM. “We are thrilled to embark on this expansion plan, with a state-of-the-art facility that underscores our commitment to providing our customers with differentiated advanced technology PCB solutions on a global scale. Today, we are proud to celebrate the grand opening of TTM’s first large-scale, highly advanced technology-equipped facility in Southeast Asia.

“Penang’s robust industrial ecosystem, position as the electrical and electronics hub, strong talent pool, and conducive business environment have made Penang a preferred location for TTM. Due to the outstanding support of the government and the efforts of our employees, TTM is now entering our production ramp only two years after our initial ground-breaking. As TTM builds our presence in Penang, we eagerly anticipate a longstanding relationship and mutually rewarding partnership with the Malaysian government, our customers, and our critical vendors,” said Edman.

The inauguration of TTM’s Penang plant was marked by the official opening ceremony, presided over by YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, chief minister of Penang, accompanied by various administration and company officials.

“Penang is indeed proud to be the chosen location for TTM to establish its first large-scale, highly automated, and innovative PCB manufacturing plant in Southeast Asia, which also signifies the confidence that foreign investors have placed in Penang,” said Chow. “Often lauded for its well-developed industrial ecosystem, Penang has the capacities and capabilities to support the needs of industrial players in next-generation technologies and growth strategies. I am optimistic that TTM will reap a myriad of benefits from its operation in Penang, the Silicon Valley of the East.”Article ending bug


Arlon EMD Announces CA Expansion

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – Arlon EMD has announced an expansion of its factory here, which will include the addition of two prepreg treaters and a press line.

The expansion will permit a larger portfolio of products to be manufactured in North America, improving responsiveness to the regional market and mitigating risk and capacity surges, the company said.

Arlon EMD, which was acquired by Elite Materials Company in 2020, has provided high-performance thermoset substrates for mission-critical printed circuit boards manufactured for high endurance and long-life programs for 45 years.

EMC is the world’s largest manufacturer of halogen-free and HDI copper-clad laminates, with plants in Taiwan and China, and a factory currently being built in Penang, with a planned completion date in late 2024.Article ending bug


Thales Expands PCB Production Capabilities in Germany

ARNSTADT, GERMANY – Thales Group has expanded its circuit board production capabilities at its Industrial Competence Center here, citing an increased demand among Germany and Europe’s rail systems.

The company said circuit boards are critical components for the railway industry to make the rail infrastructure in Germany and Europe fit for the future, and global supply bottlenecks can threaten that goal.

To prevent supply issues, Thales said it has made its circuit board production more efficient.

“This means we can increase our production speed and have significantly more planning and delivery security,” the company said. “Our customers such as Deutsche Bahn and all rail travelers benefit from this through better planning of upcoming modernization projects.”Article ending bug


Orbic to Reshore PC Manufacturing in NY

HAUPPAUGE, NY – Orbic Electronics has purchased a 27,000 sq. ft. building and three acres of land here for $6.6 million as part of its plan to move manufacturing from China to the US.

Orbic, which manufactures phones, laptops and other electronic devices, announced its Project Patriot plan in January, which will see it bring as many 1,000 jobs to Long Island in the next five years. The company previously received an incentive from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to lease and renovate a 70,000 sq. ft. building in Hauppauge as part of a $30.8 million investment.

“This initiative is a stride forward in our vision of a sustainable, job-creating future,” said Mike Narula, president and CEO, Orbic. “Project Patriot is set to be a very exciting time in our company’s history, and Suffolk County is the perfect location for the bulk of our work to advance the production of American-Made products and grow American manufacturing jobs. Having our products read ‘Made in America’ is a tremendous point of pride for us, and it will also allow our company to bolster the local economy, helping other vendors in Suffolk County succeed alongside us.”Article ending bug


IPC Releases ‘J’ Revisions to 2 Electronic Assembly Standards

BANNOCKBURN, IL – IPC has announced the release of “J” revisions for two standards often used together for the manufacture of electronic assemblies.

IPC J-STD-001J, Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies, is the industry-consensus standard for soldering processes and materials and IPC-A-610J, Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies, is a post-assembly acceptance  visual standard.

Revisions to these standards are completed every three years, with significant changes made to each one. Committee leaders addressed more than 1,350 comments for revision “J.”

Some of the significant changes found in the standards are as follows:

  • Global changes implemented in both documents:
    • Removed redundant minimum electrical clearance references – covered in Chapter 1 of documents
    • Clarified the use and definition of wire, lead and conductor
  • Changes to IPC J-STD-001J:
    • Added hardware installation requirements
    • Added graphics to address bubbles in x-ray images
  • Changes to IPC-A-610J:
    • Chapter 10 has new images
    • Conformal coating – clarified voiding/bubbles

In addition to the revisions for IPC J-STD-001J and IPC-A-610J, redline documents are available.Article ending bug


Ibase Breaks Ground on Vietnam Manufacturing Facility

VINH PHUC, VIETNAM – Ibase Technology has broken ground on a new manufacturing facility here, with plans to begin operations in early 2025.

The new factory will include six assembly lines for SMT and DIP, along with 10 system assembly lines, and will increase Ibase’s monthly PCBA capacity by 60,000 and its monthly system assembly capacity by 30,000 for board and system-level embedded and networking products, the company said.

“We have achieved a significant milestone in our company’s endeavor to expand our manufacturing capabilities in Vietnam. This marks our first plant outside Taiwan and is an integral part of our long-term manufacturing roadmap aimed at providing our customers with the capacity they need for years to come and to meet their demands for greater flexibility, efficiency and quality,” said C. S. Lin, chairman, Ibase Technology. “The AI revolution is underway, with the adoption of AIoT devices and the power of edge computing coming together to unlock the potential of edge AI. With over 20 years of experience in the IPC field, Ibase has the expertise to design and manufacture edge AI computing platforms essential for today’s AI era. The new plant in Vietnam will be instrumental in the success of our edge AI initiatives.”

Once completed, the Vietnam plant will provide 194,106 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, and when combined with the company’s three manufacturing sites in Taiwan, its total manufacturing space will reach 491,997 sq. ft.Article ending bug


NCAB Group Acquires Belgian PCB Supplier

STOCKHOLM – NCAB Group has expanded into Belgium with the acquisition of PCB supplier Cumatrix BV.

Cumatrix’s net sales amounted to SEK7 million ($652,000) in 2023 with an EBITA margin of about 7%. The company has two employees, and the majority of its sales are for the industrial sector with sourcing from manufacturing partners in China.

NCAB said the acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in 2024, and synergies are expected in the areas of suppliers, payment terms and logistics.

“This acquisition is small but all the same it presents a strategic opportunity for NCAB Group to establish a local presence in the Belgian market,” said Benjamin Klingenberg, VP, NCAB Europe. “With this action, we also gain highly skilled and experienced personnel from the PCB industry, who will complement our existing capabilities and play a pivotal role in unlocking new growth opportunities and expanding our network in Benelux.”

“We are happy to be able to enhance our business in the NCAB context,” said Cumatrix owner Gert Peeters. “This will mean a positive development for our customers, us personally and not the least give us new possibilities to grow in Belgium with the support of the entire NCAB Group.”Article ending bug


Colorado EMS to Expand, Add 100 Jobs

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Spectrum Advanced Manufacturing Technologies has received $1.3 million in tax credits from the Colorado Economic Development Commission to expand its operations here and add up to 101 new jobs.

The planned expansion will include two new building at its existing campus, including a 12,500 sq. ft. manufacturing center which will house ISO 8 Class cleanrooms for the production of AR/XR headsets and 3-D monitors, plus a 3,000 sq. ft. segregated cleanroom facility reserved for wiring and harnessing.

“This expansion signifies a strategic response to the growing demand for Spectrum AMT’s expertise in high-reliability electronics manufacturing and assembly,” said Jeff Gilbert, COO, Spectrum AMT. “We are deeply appreciative of our partnership with 5Star Bank and remain firmly committed to not only supporting critical industries like aerospace and defense but also contributing meaningfully to the advancement of technologies that shape the future, from space exploration and scientific discovery to addressing global medical challenges. We are proud to be part of a Colorado ecosystem that fosters innovation and economic growth, and we are excited to continue playing a vital role in Colorado Springs. This community has been instrumental in our beginning and continued success.”Article ending bug


Zetwerk Plans Expansion of EMS Capacity

NEW DELHI – Zetwerk has announced a Rs1,000 crore ($119.6 million) investment to ramp up its electronics manufacturing capacity.

The company currently produces one device per second from its Noida factory in India’s Uttar Pradesh, and plans to expand to 60 assembly lines from its current 16 lines across six manufacturing facilities. The expansion will enable Zetwerk to cater to major multinational corporations and OEMs in the computer devices segment through its Bangalore facility, the company said.

The company will manufacture motherboards, desktop PC power supplies and other electronic components, and said it aims to become a leading original design manufacturer and electronics manufacturing services provider.

“Zetwerk views India’s electronics manufacturing sector as experiencing a transformative shift, akin to a Y2K moment, that will propel the nation toward a flourishing ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India),” said Josh Foulger, president of Zetwerk Electronics.Article ending bug


Fineline Acquires German PCB Maker

HAZOREA, ISRAEL – Fineline Global has announced the acquisition of German PCB supplier IBR Leiterplatten.

IBR will continue to operate independently and will now strengthen its position in the market, benefiting from additional production capacities, resources and infrastructure from the strong Fineline network, Fineline said in a release announcing the acquisition.

Existing projects and day-to-day operations will remain unchanged for IBR customers, the company said.

With the acquisition, Fineline said it will continue to expand its position as a leading value-added reseller of printed circuit boards in Germany and the DACH region.

“We are pleased to be able to offer IBR customers even more opportunities and benefits for stronger cooperation,” said IBR managing director Christian Ringler.

“The Fineline team and I are very excited to see what IBR’s recipe for success has been so far, and at the same time how we will continue to successfully develop both business models in the future,” said Dirk Wolter, managing director, Fineline Germany.Article ending bug


KLA to Exit FPD Business

MILPITAS, CA – KLA announced in April that it is exiting the flat panel display (FPD) business by the end of the year, but will continue to provide services to the customer base for its discontinued products.

The company said the decision is based on multiple factors, including the cancellation of a new technology product by a major customer – reportedly Apple’s recent scrapping of its microLED watch project – and it is investigating alternatives to the FPD business. FPD revenues accounted for 1.4% of the company’s total revenue in 2023.

Apple’s decision to cancel the microLED watch has affected other companies, as Ams-Osram also announced that it is considering its options after a canceled project and estimates its loss at $650 million to $900 million, while Kulicke & Soffa said it will also see losses of $110 million to $130 million after it had an Apple project canceled.Article ending bug


iNEMI Publishes First Wave of Online Roadmaps

MORRISVILLE, NC – The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) has published the first roadmap topics in its new format, with printed circuit boards, sustainable electronics, smart manufacturing and mmWave materials and test now available online.

“The in-depth content on these topics is intended to help companies align technology progress with their respective commercial interests and to support high-volume manufacturing,” said Francis Mullany, iNEMI director of roadmapping. “The new format provides a more structured, accessible view of the roadmap that is easily updated based on market movements and technology innovations. And, of course, the roadmap continues to chart the future evolution of electronics manufacturing in terms of application drivers, technical needs, gaps, and technical solutions over a 10-year horizon to help guide R&D investment decisions by industry as well as public research programs and government agencies.”

The initial wave of roadmap topics focuses on key technologies and cross-cutting topics critical to complex integrated systems (CIS), as discussed in a recent iNEMI/IPC whitepaper “Complex Integrated Systems: The Future of Electronics Manufacturing.” The scope of each topic area now available is described below:

Printed circuit boards. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a fundamental element of a vast range of electronic products. The PCB manufacturing ecosystem must continuously evolve and react to “technology blurring” with respect to substrates. The initial iNEMI Roadmap discussion of this topic covers a broad spectrum: high-speed PCBs and substrates; test, inspection and measurement; and environmental issues. Other topics currently under preparation include microwave and mmWave PCBs, laminate-based semiconductor packaging and PCB design.

Sustainable electronics. Sustainability in the design, manufacture, use and end-of-life handling of electronics systems is increasing as a consideration across the entire electronics manufacturing ecosystem. The iNEMI Roadmap currently focuses on the full scope of circularity and on key materials used. A new reporting format gathers information on sustainability hot-spot issues and roadmaps mitigating technologies on a per-substance basis.

Smart manufacturingThe term “smart manufacturing” encompasses the adoption of informed, intelligent, automated manufacturing processes at factory, enterprise, and ecosystem levels for increased flexibility, resiliency and efficiency. The initial release of roadmap content looks at the central topic of data flow architecture and at the issue of security of smart manufacturing systems and data.

mmWave materials and test As part of the 5G/6G MAESTRO project, work on this topic was supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Office of Advanced Manufacturing. It considers challenges posed by the operation of electronics at mmWave frequencies and higher. The focus is on the materials and their characterization and electrical test, primarily for PCBs and packaging substrates.

Publication schedule. In the coming months, the iNEMI Roadmap will:

  • Provide qualitative market driver assessments and quantitative requirements for multiple application areas
  • Map technology gaps and potential solution approaches for other critical technology topics such as board assembly, complex integrated systems, modeling and design
  • Build a dynamic online presence for the iNEMI Roadmap, collaborating closely with other industry roadmaps.

See the current working view of the 2024 topic schedule.Article ending bug


New Kaga Factory to Receive METI Subsidy

SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, MEXICO – Kaga Electronics’ factory construction project here will receive a 100 million yen ($660,000) boost from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as part of its Indo-Pacific and Central-South America Regional Supply Chain Involvement Support Project.

The Indo-Pacific and Central-South America Regional Supply Chain Involvement Support Project is a subsidy scheme implemented by METI to encourage business initiatives that contribute to increasing the resilience of supply chains between Japan and the Indo-Pacific and Central-South America regions.

Kaga announced the Mexico factory in August, and through its subsidiary, Taxan Mexico, aims to strengthen and expand its production base to meet the increasing demand for EMS in Mexico. In addition to meeting an increase in orders from existing customers, the new factory is also designed to attract new customers through the assembly of circuit boards used in air-conditioning equipment for the US market, the company said.

Kaga said it is also planning for a future expansion of its integrated production capability encompassing component molding, sheet metal processing and finished product assembly functions, in addition to current unit assembly and circuit board assembly.

By promoting local and localized production, beginning with the new factory in Mexico, the company said it will reduce transportation times and control logistics costs, as well as contribute to the construction of resilient supply chains for the stable provision of products to the market in collaboration with its customers and suppliers.Article ending bug