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ElectroComponent Science and Technology
Volume 7 (1980), Issue 1-3, Pages 3-17

Permanent Interconnection Technology

1Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department, Loughborough University of Technology, Leics., Loughborough, UK
2ITT Components Group, Devon, Paignton, UK

Received 2 June 1980

Copyright © 1980 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper is concerned with the permanent connection of electronic components into sub-systems and is based on the report of an ERC Working Party that investigated the subject during 1978 and 1979. After an initial description of the interconnection concepts and the relationship the field has to electronic assembly systems in general, a survey is given of the marketing data that is available that defines the economic importance of the field. This survey includes new data obtained by the Working Party. Figures are given for the rest of Europe in general and the UK in particular and it is noted that the Output at Sales Value in the UK of intereconnection technology products is almost the same as the Output at Sales Value of ICs in the UK. Within permanent interconnection technology two-thirds of the Output at Sales Value is associated with PWBs and one-third with thick/thin film circuits.

Research Work in the field is discussed and a division between immediate time scale problems and those involving a longer time scale is suggested. Twenty-nine immediate time scale R & D problems have been recognized covering all three interconnection technologies; longer time scale problems will be associated with the continuing decrease in the size of add-on electronic components.

It is concluded that large, fast computer systems will require a decrease in the size and spacing of interconnections to match those of the semiconductor chip. This means simultaneous design of semiconductor and associated interconnection structures tasks well-suited to vertically integrated companies. In contrast, many real time subassemblies will benefit from greater chip complexity and need fewer outgoing leads per chip, i.e. at wider spacings – needs that can be met by the development of existing techniques. Finally it is suggested that future distribution of added value in electronic assembly operations is likely to give all sectors of interconnection business a steady upward sales trend, with both hybrid and semiconductor manufacturers seeking specialized subsystems markets to replace their present “all things to all customers” policies.