With the merger of Dow and DuPont freshly completed, this year’s Productronica show, taking place Nov. 14-17 in Munich, Germany, represents the first opportunity to meet with the companies post-merger. So, what will change moving forward? As a single company innovating circuit-board technologies, once the Dow and DuPont portfolios are combined, it will truly cover the full spectrum of printed circuit board (PCB) processes (Fig. 1). Together, Dow and DuPont’s Circuit Technologies business will be able to deliver the broadest expertise, product range and process technology in the industry, for customers to leverage as they develop new technologies to meet their needs.
Fig. 1: Once Dow and DuPont’s materials portfolios are combined, they will cover the full spectrum of PCB manufacturing processes.
In process development, materials are always a challenge. The interactions between materials and process steps must be clearly understood, but often the materials for different steps come from different suppliers, leading to finger-pointing when a process doesn’t work. By combining the process and materials expertise of two of the leading suppliers to the semiconductor and PCB industries, Dow and DuPont’s Circuit Technologies business will be able to leverage its expertise to strengthen both development and customer support.
Looking ahead, it is clear that manufacturing challenges will only grow. Historically, PCB technologies have trailed leading-edge semiconductor processes by 5 to 10 years. Recently, however, technology integration has been accelerating in unexpected ways, with chip companies increasingly exploring putting chips directly on boards. Once integrated, Dow and DuPont’s technologies will be uniquely qualified to support customers addressing these new challenges. The companies’ knowledge base extends far beyond the PCB space, with expertise in front-end semiconductor manufacturing as well as advanced packaging. This knowledge offers a critical differentiator, as Dow and DuPont will have the expertise in-house to support customers’ most advanced process-development activities.
Fig. 2: Once combined, Dow and DuPont will deliver an expanded portfolio with offerings in direct materials (films, laminates) and consumables (plating, dry film) in flex and rigid boards.
One example of this is flexible PCBs, one technology area where Dow and DuPont have invested individually to address customer requirements for smaller, lighter, higher-speed, higher-frequency materials with better resistance. These products, developed independently, deliver the necessary technical characteristics needed by the industry. Until now, customers were responsible for finding ways to integrate the new materials individually into their process flows. But once integrated, the Dow and DuPont team will work together to deliver a well-defined process, including how to image to achieve the highest yields, how to metallize, and more. This means that Dow and DuPont will be positioned to deliver more complete, manufacturing-ready solutions to customers.
So, what are the key circuit technologies that Dow and DuPont will feature at Productronica 2017?
- Dow CIRCUPOSIT™ EF-65 electroless Cu plating bath for flexible circuit applications is a new metallization process achieves highly reliable conductive coating in a single process in a short process time to improve product quality and productivity, as well as lower production costs.
- Dow MICROFILL SFP electrolytic Cu plating bath for fine line plating and microvias, with minimal surface thickness. The process has been designed to achieve better distribution uniformity, excellent via-filling performance, higher current density, good physical properties and excellent thermal reliability.
- DuPont™ Interra™ embedded planar capacitor laminates are specifically designed to make thinner, more efficient power and ground planes within multilayer rigid printed circuit boards.
- The DuPont™ Pyralux® portfolio includes a diverse collection of core dielectric materials and customized dimensional constructions that enable the designer and manufacturer of complex circuits to deliver high-performance solutions. New Pyralux® HT with a high service temperature of 225C enables designers to use flexible circuits for the first time in high-temperature environments, such as aerospace and automotive engines, brakes and transmissions, and downhole pumps for oil and gas drilling.
- A diverse portfolio of DuPont™ Riston® Dry Film Photoresists addresses the productivity and process needs of denser, more complex boards for finer features, higher quality and lower cost in all types of plating and etching applications.
- DuPont™ Temprion™ thermal management materials offer a high-quality, reliable choice for managing heat and reducing thermal resistance in a wide variety of electronic assemblies. This means enhanced performance and an extended lifetime for today’s technologically advanced electronic devices and products.
Productronica is the world’s leading trade show for electronics development and production. This year, it promises to address future technologies, industry trends and growth markets with presentations and exhibits from leading investment decision-makers and industry experts from around the world. Dow will be in Booth B3.305 and DuPont in Booth B3.255. Stop by either location to learn more about how we will drive innovation together.