3D InCites: Evolving along with 3D Technologies

When I first launched 3D InCites in 2009, it was with the intention of creating an online resource for the semiconductor industry that could be relied upon to provide comprehensive information for 3D IC and 3D Packaging technologies. 3D technologies were still far from commercialization, but it was already apparent throughout the industry that we were dealing with something different that required transparency and collaboration across the value chain.  In stirring up interest in 3D Integration, 3D InCites’ mission was to bring together key players to realize market adoption and commercialization of 3D technologies from 2.5D packaging, 3D packaging through 3D ICs and beyond.

In order to support this effort and feed my family, I needed a revenue stream, which mostly consisted of banner advertising and sponsored ‘products’ such as site visits, infomercials, etc.  While the site has been hugely successful from the perspective of developing an active online community (568 registered members as of today) and following of 3D enthusiasts (close to 2000  visits per month), the revenue stream was less than desired, and on many occasions I wondered how long I could keep it going.

Enter Impress Labs.

From the very beginning, Martijn Pierik, managing partner of Impress Labs took an interest in 3D InCites and its somewhat novel approach as an online resource. He often reached out to me to offer insight from the perspective of a marketing communications agency. Recognizing the rapidly evolving (trade) media landscape, its effect on technology companies, and what that meant for Impress clients (and those of other agencies for that matter) Martijn recognized 3D InCites’ value as a community-based content platform where semiconductor manufacturers, suppliers, R&D centers, etc. can demonstrate their knowledge, products, and services in this area of emerging technology. It was clear to him as it was to me that the way the world shares knowledge was changing, and we have to change along with it.

So a few months ago we sat down to discuss the future of 3D InCites. and what Impress could do to help support it.  What if I could keep doing what I was doing, only do more of it, and not worry about how to finance it? He offered me the opportunity to join Impress Labs as a Sr. Technology Writer and 3D subject matter expert to Impress clients, while allocating enough time to also be able to continue my work on 3D InCites. More importantly, I would maintain complete editorial control and 100% autonomy. No interference from Impress, no preferential treatment for its clients; all music to my ears. The site would be “powered by Impress Labs.”  No longer a source of revenue, it would be simply a useful resource to the industry.

This is not Impress’s first foray into what Martijn calls “content marketing.” The company is committed to supporting similar efforts in its other practice areas; solar and life sciences. They recently launched SolarCurator, featuring the editorial stylings of Tom Cheyney, and power Onco’Zine, the international oncology network, presided over by editor/publisher, Peter Hofland, Ph.D.

So over the next few months, expect to see changes as 3D InCites evolves to its next phase (beginning today with a new logo and color scheme!) Although 3D InCites will become an advertisement –free site, you may still see some ads on the site from existing advertisers whose contracts we will honor through expiration. I want to take the opportunity to thank these loyal sponsors, EV Group, Ultratech, Invensas, and Nordson ASYMTEK; as well as other advertisers such as Alchimer, NEXX Systems, SUSS MicroTec, SPTS, SET, Tezzaron Semiconductor, STATS ChipPAC,  Cadence, and Dow Corning, SEMATECH, CEA–Leti and Fraunhofer IZM, who in one way or another helped support 3DInCites over the past 3 years. Also, I would be remiss not to mention my former business partner, Leo Archer, who helped get 3D InCites up and runniing in the first place.

We will continue to provide quality original content, and do more curating of other publications to help them spread their words.  Financial independence will result in an even more objective platform to share your progress in the march toward commercialization for 2.5D, 3DICs, 3D systems and more. ~ F.v.T.