The Electronics System-Integration Technology Conference (ESTC) is the premier international event in the field of electronics packaging and system integration in Europe. The conference takes place every two years and is the IEEE EPS flagship conference in Europe, organized by IEEE EPS Region 8 (EMEA) Chapter in association with IMAPS Europe.
Set in the middle of Romania, surrounded by the high Carpathian Mountains and Cibin River, the location of 9th ESTC 2022, the city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt), is a citadel of the European electronics industry. The 353 registered participants from 28 countries from Europe, Asia, and North America enjoyed a place where culture, landscape, gastronomy, and profession merge in a friendly pleasant environment. Many participants used the opportunity to experience the wonderful city of Sibiu, its surroundings, and famous historic places in Siebenbürgen, Transylvania – Home of the famous Wallachian Count Vlad III Drăculea (“Son of the Dragon”, around 1431 – 1476), who inspired Irish author Bram Stoker to write the novel “Dracula”, published in 1897 and one of the most famous pieces of English literature.
The 9th ESTC – after a long period of online events and social distancing – took place as an in-person event from September 13-16, 2022, in Sibiu, Romania.
ESTC 2022 proved again to be the perfect place to learn about the latest developments in semiconductor packaging and system integration, to network in the packaging community, and to connect with customers, partners, colleagues, friends, and not to forget, with many interested students, who will, hopefully, become the packaging experts of the future. The feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition to the presenters and speakers, the organizers also received a lot of applause.
The conference and its highlights in a nutshell:
- 4 Professional Development Courses (PDCs)
- 4 Sponsored sessions teaching experience of leading Automotive Tier1 manufacturer
- 6 Workshops focusing on
- Climate neutrality and sustainable electronics
- iRel40 – Intelligent Reliability along the Value Chain
- Nanopackaging (IEEE Nano Council)
- IPCEI – A Session on Industrial Research on Assembly & Packaging in Europe
- Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap (HIR)
- University Level Education Activities in Electronics Packaging – Present and Future.
- 10 exciting keynotes addressed the future of a wide variety of technologies and market segments
- 116 presented scientific papers
- 82 oral presentations in 21 sessions (up to 4 sessions running in parallel)
- 34 interactive presentations (posters) including pitch videos and e-poster in a virtual gallery on the website
- Best Paper and Best Poster Awards sponsored by ASE Group.
- 17 Sponsors and 33 Exhibitors, main event sponsor: Continental Automotive Romania
- Feedback Survey and “Exhibition Rally” and Raffle with attractive prizes
- Interesting interactive company visit to Continental Automotive Systems Sibiu
- Opportunity to visit Sibiu, and, during the conference dinner, taste many local gastronomic specialties, enjoy a great cultural program, and visit the beautiful summer residence of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (a baroque palace built in 1762), located near Sibiu, in Avrig (Freck).
All in all, we spent three fantastic days with a great Technical Program, Welcome Reception, Social Event, Industry Exhibition, Company visit to Continental, a lot of discussions, exchange, and networking.
The conference committee was led by General Chair, Prof. Paul Mugur Svasta, Ph.D., Head of Center, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Center for Technological Electronics and Interconnection Techniques (UPB-CETTI), Bucharest, Romania. Three major contributors to the success of the conference should be named here on behalf of the complete conference committee:
- Executive Chair, Prof. Ovidiu Aurel Pop, Ph.D., Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Technical University of Cluj Napoca, Romania
- Technical Program Chair, Dr. Tanja Braun, Group Manager Assembly & Encapsulation, Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM), System Integration and Interconnection Technologies, Berlin, Germany
- Technical Program Co-Chair, Cosmin Moisa, Head of Product Development Center, Global Head for Electronics Engineering Cabin Sensing, User Experience (UX) Automotive, SC Continental Automotive Romania SRL, Timisoara, Romania.
Diving into the ESTC 2022 Program
Different from other international packaging conferences, we did not hear much about leading edge ultra-fine pitch and high-density 2.5D Interposer and 3D integration through silicon vias (TSVs), fan-out wafer- and panel level packaging technologies, chip embedding or hybrid wafer bonding in this conference. Rather, the content focused widely on the European domains, scientific and development work tailored to European manufacturing, the markets, and applications considering the boundary conditions Europe is facing: Automotive and power, low and medium volume but high-value products, and highly specialized applications in optoelectrical/ photonics, medical, defense and the space market.
Most papers dealt with materials, reliability, advanced packaging, simulation, test, and analysis. With presentations and exhibitions from Continental, Bosch, Infineon, and Eberspächer to name only a few, power electronics had two strong sessions, and automotive and mobility was also a focus. We also heard about the latest developments in sensor and MEMS packaging. Fraunhofer IZM, besides others, presented interesting advances in packaging for High-Frequency applications. The Best Paper and Best Poster Awards were granted to:
- Best Paper: “Metallurgical Aspects and Joint Properties of Cu-Ni-In-Cu fine-pitch interconnects for 3D Integration“ – Steffen Bickel, Iuliana Panchenko, M. Juergen Wolf – Fraunhofer IZM ASSID
- Best Poster: “New Opto-packaging Concepts with Electrical Feedthrough and Optic-micro-assembly by Using Laser Direct Soldering“ – Vanessa Stenchly, Wolfgang Reinert, Nils Burmeister – Fraunhofer ISIT
Discussions focused on cooperation opportunities in European and nationally funded projects such as the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) and the European Chips Act. Links between partners from academics, institutes, industry, and customers were established. Networking was one of the major reasons participants attended. Also, and that was quite new and surprising for quite a lot of the participants, the strength of Romania in this field has been demonstrated.
The disturbance of the electronics supply chain caused by pandemic, geopolitical and regional strategy challenges was addressed by Kitty Pearsall, IEEE EPS President, in her keynote “Electronic Packaging and its Supply Chain: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities”, and was discussed throughout the conference, underlining also the reaching up to a global problem in our highly specialized industry.
Not less importantly, also the question of where to find a specialized workforce and future packaging experts was discussed as well as industry expectations versus education programs. The PDCs offered during the conference were well-attended and extremely well-received by the participants. That is education provided by IEEE EPS.
Cosmin Moisa, Technical Program Co-Chair of the conference pointed out: “By our active involvement, we hope to give the next generations of engineers the chance to apply the ESTC gained knowledge in the vast field of electronics research, development and industrialization. There is an active push to link the professional environments with the preparation of the students, therefore industrial partners salute the active IEEE Student Branch chapters that met during the conference and showed a high interest in the event, through actively submitting papers.”
More information – for participants also the conference proceedings including keynotes and workshop presentations – can be found on IEEE Xplore® and the ESTC website:
Please stay tuned for:
- 24th European Microelectronics & Packaging Conference and Exhibition (EMPC 2023), organized by IMAPS Europe, September 11-14, 2023, in Cambridge, England. Note: The deadline to submit a full Abstract is January 13, 2023.
- 10th Electronics System-Integration Technology Conference (ESTC 2024), organized by IEEE EPS Region 8 (EMEA) Chapter, September 2024, in Berlin, Germany.