IMAPS held its 55th International Symposium on Microelectronics in Boston, October 4-6 2022. The conference drew some 900+ attendees hungry for some post-pandemic social contact.

It was somewhat of a homecoming for me since my career started in the Boston suburbs where I worked for 12 years (1975 – 1986) at Dow Chemical’s Wayland R&D labs. Remember, the area around Boston was the US microelectronics center before Silicon Valley existed.

The IMAPS technical program ran for 3 days with session emphasis on packaging technologies for 5G, high-performance computing (HPC), automotive, industrial, defense/space, and the medical electronics markets.

Prior to the conference, IMAPS hosted a one-day Workshop on “On-Shore Packaging and Assembly Capabilitiesto engage the community and identify solutions that address US government and defense requirements critical to the onshoring of the microelectronic assembly and packaging supply chain. If you’re a loyal reader of IFTLE you know that this is a really hot topic.

This full-day workshop drew ~100 participants all eager to hear what the government participants had to say and just as eager to show what they could do to help bring microelectronic packaging back to the US mainland. We will be discussing its content further in future blogs.

It may be just me, but the overall exhibition seemed smaller than pre-pandemic. Some companies are probably still hesitant to exhibit as we come out of the pandemic period. I noticed that 10-20% of the travelers were still wearing masks as were maybe 5% of the conference attendees. I’m not passing judgment here, just making observations.

IMAPS Society Awards

One of the first things on the conference agenda was the 2022 IMAPS Society awards. Many of them went to advanced packaging superstars and/or practitioners whose work we have covered in IFTLE and colleagues that have been part of my microelectronics life over the past four decades.

Figure 1 complete list of award winners is shown along with Ted Tessier, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Figure 2 is a photo of Ted and me in 1996 at the Ogunquit Maine IMAPS Multichip Module workshop. For all you microelectronics history lovers, that’s George Harman, the acknowledged father of wirebonding on the far left. Ted and I go back to the time we spent together at the Microelectronics Center of NC in the late 1980s.

IMAPS Society Awards
Figure 1: Ted Tessier, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
Figure 2: 1996 at the Ogunquit Maine IMAPS Multichip Module workshop.

We also crossed paths during his time at Motorola, where he mentored some of today’s leaders like Beth Keser (Intel) and Jon Aday (Amkor), and his time at Flip Chip International, (FCI) where he was CTO, and I was supplying dielectric materials to this early flip chip and WLP production line in Phoenix. Remember the first wafer-level package the “Ultra CSP” was commercialized by Flip Chip Technologies (which became FCI) using my BCB.

Next is Bill Chen who is recognized by all, and rightly so, as the father of the Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap. Figure 3 shows Bill accepting the Dan Hughes Award from IMAPS President, Beth Keser. Figure 4 is a photo of Bill with two other advanced packaging superstars: CP Wong and John Lau.

IMAPS Society Awards
Figure 3: Beth Keser presents Bill Chen with the Dan Hughes Award.
Figure 4: (L-R)Bill Chen, CP Wong, John Lau

Several folks were made fellows of the society, but I have to call out my old friend Paul Van Loan who was IMAPS President in the late 1990s and spent most of his career working at HP. We used to have Presidential Roasts in those days, which would certainly not be considered politically correct by today’s standards, but then again no one ever accused me of being PC. I led up to Paul’s roast which included dressing Canadian-born Paul up as a Canadian Mountie (Figure 5).  Figure 6 is a photo of us toasting something or someone at the IMAPS Europe meeting in Venice in the late 1990s.  Another societal comment – note those were the days when we all wore ties at conferences…not so much anymore!

Figure 5: Paul Van Loan as a Canadian Mountie.
Figure 6: Paul and Phil at IMAPS Venice, back in the day.

The outstanding educator award rightfully went to Rao Tummala. Rao needs no introduction. After a 25-year career, Rao left IBM in 1993 to start Georgia Tech’s Packaging Research Center. At Georgia Tech, Rao led the drive to make packaging an “academic subject” by means of courses, curricula, textbooks, and degrees. Considered the “Bible of Packaging,” his Microelectronics Packaging Handbook (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989) defined packaging and introduced its cross-disciplinary nature of science and technology to the academic community. There are plenty of stock pictures of Rao on Google, but no one has seen this one before…..YES…another  IFTLE exclusive!  Rao and I were attending the IEMT/IMC conference in Japan in 1998. They actually dressed me up as a Samurai as part of the evening’s entertainment after a few sakis.

Figure 6: IFTLE Exclusive – Paul and Rao at IEMT/IMC Conference in Japan, 1998

The last award winner I want to highlight is Tim Olsen who won the Founder’s Award. We all know Tim as CEO of Deca, whose M-Series with Adaptive Patterning is looked at as one of the leading fan-out packaging technologies available today.  In IFTLE 523 we showed you the 600 mm Deca panel (see below). Some view this as the future of fan-out packaging.

For all the latest on Advanced Packaging stay linked to IFTLE……………………….

Phil Garrou

Dr. Philip Garrou is a subject matter expert for DARPA and runs his consulting company…

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