NEMI launches optoelectronics initiatives

Aug. 15, 2001
Initiatives launched by The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative are designed to focus industry efforts on issues that must be resolved in order to implement optoelectronic components in electronic assemblies. In addition, the industry consortium is co-sponsoring a September Optoelectronics Assembly Workshop with member company Adept Technology. This workshop, which will be held in Livermore, CA, will review techniques for handling fragile optical fibers within cassettes.

Herndon, VA; August 13, 2001 – The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) has announced several new initiatives to focus industry efforts on issues that must be resolved in order to implement optoelectronic components in electronic assemblies. In addition, the industry consortium is co-sponsoring a September Optoelectronics Assembly Workshop with member company Adept Technology. This workshop, which will be held in Livermore, CA, will review techniques for handling fragile optical fibers within cassettes.

“Optoelectronic components offer significant capacity advantages for generating, transporting and manipulating emerging broadband multimedia networks that will carry voice, data and video,” said Alan Rae, vice president of technology for NEMI member Cookson Electronics. “Today, however, what we have is a strong long distance fiber backbone that is like a superhighway without many off-ramps.

“In order to migrate the technology to the local area, which requires as much as 100 times more equipment per mile of fiber, we will have to transform the industry and reduce costs dramatically. Numerous assembly issues must be addressed before optoelectronic components will be cost-effective in volume production of electronic systems. NEMI is dedicated to bringing together its members to address many of the these issues and challenges.”

NEMI is currently organizing an Optoelectronics Technology Integration Group (TIG), to be headed by Rae. Projects are still being defined, but are expected to focus on:

•design rules for large, high-frequency circuits

•test equipment and fixtures

•accelerated reliability testing

•package standardization

These areas were identified by a number of leading OEMs, EMS providers and suppliers who participated in a NEMI-sponsored meeting at IPC's conference on optoelectronics held in Toronto in May.

NEMI has also recently launched two projects relating to optoelectronic assembly:

OPTOELECTRONICS LEVEL 2 ASSEMBLY AUTOMATION. This project will evaluate alternative attachment techniques, taking into consideration reliability, cost and yield, and develop cost models for processes that reduce attachment cost by 10X. The objective is to eliminate the need for hand-soldering, which is the current method of assembly and which affects both cost and reliability. The project is expected to consider such attachment methods as laser selective soldering, low-temperature solders, conductive adhesives and Z-axis films to attach optoelectronic packages to circuit boards. The final project deliverable will be specifications for an attachment standard.

OPTOELECTRONICS LEVEL 2 ASSEMBLY PROCEDURES. This project will develop cleanliness standards and guidelines for fiber handling – including cleanliness, splicing and connectorization – in order to reduce fiber handling process costs by 10X. The final project deliverable will be a handbook for fiber handling.

The NEMI/Adept Technology workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on September 14 at or near the Adept facilities in Livermore. Manufacturers and equipment developers are encouraged to attend and participate in discussions of ideas for a fiber-pigtail handling cassette. The intent is to generate a requirements document and to share ideas for a fiber-handling cassette to be proposed as an industry standard. Anyone interested in attending should contact Abbie Winsten (408-545-5721, [email protected]), Adept Technology Inc., 150 Rose Orchard Way, San Jose, CA 95134, or NEMI's Optoelectronics TIG chairman Alan Rae (508-541-5843, [email protected]).

ABOUT NEMI

The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative's mission is to facilitate leadership of the North American electronics manufacturing supply chain. Based in Herndon, VA, the industry-led consortium is made up of more than 60 electronics equipment manufacturers, suppliers, industry associations and consortia, government agencies, and universities.

NEMI roadmaps the needs of the North American 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, universities and other funding agencies to set priorities for future industry needs and R&D initiatives. For more information, visit NEMI.

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