Standards for Flexible Hybrid Electronics
By James Amano, senior director, International Standards, SEMI
Since its creation in the early 1970s, the SEMI International Standards Program has evolved along with the industries that SEMI supports. The latest market evolution is bringing a completely new breed of products based on flexible hybrid electronics, taking advantage of high performance packaging and printing technologies, to integrate multiple silicon circuits and sensors onto a flexible substrate. Applications for flexible hybrid electronics are countless: wearable devices to improve medical health monitoring and personal fitness; soft robotics to care for the elderly; and lightweight sensors embedded into roads, bridges, and infrastructure are just a few, all of which are relevant to the Internet of Things.
In order to get greater visibility into the new markets created by flexible hybrid electronics, SEMI announced the FlexTech Alliance as its first strategic association partner on October 7, 2015. As part of SEMI, FlexTech will continue its mission to promote the growth of the flexible hybrid electronics industry while leveraging SEMI’s global platforms, including the Standards Program.
Just as the SEMI Standards Program has contributed to the historic growth of the semiconductor industry, fundamental, precompetitive standards for materials, metrology, equipment, and terminology will essential to reach cost, yield and productivity goals for flexible hybrid electronics.
To better understand the needs of flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing, SEMI and FlexTech, partnering with IPC, created a survey. The survey results will help SEMI and FlexTech drive standards and programs in flexible hybrid electronics design and manufacturing.
Based on the results of the survey, SEMI, FlexTech, and IPC will hold a webinar in 2016. Initial standardization efforts may take place in existing SEMI Standards committees, but long-term, a committee solely dedicated to flexible hybrid electronics may be warranted.
While looking out for new opportunities in emerging markets, the SEMI Standards Program will continue to develop standards to improve existing processes. For more information, stay in touch with your local staff and frequently visit the SEMI Standards website.
Dec. 22, 2015