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The Debate: Will Plated Copper Vias Replace Solder?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Harvey Miller, iConnect007

Opening statement: Plated copper vias will replace reflowed solder paste to form electronic component interconnects.

How Oxford-style debates work (borrowed from The Economist, an international business periodical based in the U.K.):

The format was made famous by the 186-year-old Oxford Union and has been practiced by heads of state, prominent intellectuals and galvanizing figures from across the cultural spectrum. It revolves around an assertion that is defended on one side (the "proposer") and assailed on another (the "opposition") in a contest hosted and overseen by a moderator.

Those attending an Oxford-style debate participate in two ways: By voting to determine the debate's winner and by addressing comments to the moderator. The same holds here. As a reader, you are encouraged to vote. As long as the debate is open, you may change your vote as many times as you change your mind. And you are encouraged to air your own views by sending comments to the moderator

Opening Statements and Representatives

Defending the motion is Joseph Fjelstad, founder of Verdant Electronics, recognized authority in the field of electronic interconnections.

Against the motion is Dr. Hayao Nakahara, recognized expert in the PCB industry and President of NT Information.

Moderator is Harvey Miller, I-Connect007 contributor, pot-stirrer, economist (B.S. University of Michigan, 1948).

Moderator's Opening Remarks

Electronic solder has served the electronics hardware manufacturing industry, in many forms, for nearly 100 years--since the birth of the industry. The form that is the focus of this debate is solder paste, composed primarily of a conductive metallic alloy stenciled and reflowed on PCB lands to make electrical connection of components to circuits, mechanically joining the component terminal to the PCB pad at the same time. Solder paste began its march to dominance 40 years ago, growing alongside the previous wave soldering, through-hole technology (THT) on one- and two-sided PCBs. Increasing density requirements of integrated circuits (ICs) led to the growth of Surface Mount Technology (SMT), increasingly on multi-layer PCBs with increasing numbers of layers and increasing complexity and cost.


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