Karl's Tech Talk: Digital Imaging Update

Through the years, I have repeatedly covered and updated digital imaging in this column, from as far back as 1997 in CircuiTree, through a column in this magazine in November 2015. Several reasons for this extended coverage include the fact that technology had a slow, long incubation time that eventually led to accelerated improvements and acceptance for mass production. It might also be argued that, next to the development of microvia technologies, digital imaging is probably the most innovative technology to achieve high-density interconnects in acceptable yields.

It is worth mentioning that digital imaging is a more appropriate term to refer to this technology than laser direct imaging (LDI) because LDI is just one example of digital imaging, albeit its pioneering version.

The advantages of digital circuitization techniques have been described in detail by suppliers of equipment and photoresist. Since phototool generation and conditioning are omitted, there is the advantage of shorter lead time. Small lots can be customized at no extra cost (e.g., with added date and lot number information). Maybe the biggest advantage is the ability to scale (i.e., to change the dimension of each individual exposure for best fit to reference points on an underlying pattern of a multilayer structure). However, early digital imaging systems had substantial drawbacks, such as Orbotech’s DP100 which used an argon ion laser with limited radiation power, high power usage, and high cooling requirements.

For years, laser direct imaging (LDI) was synonymous with digital imaging. While most early, commercially successful digital processes involved the use of lasers, other more recent processes use non-laser light sources such as LEDs (light emitting diodes) that consume less power, last longer, and have higher light intensity output. Alternatively, various types of mercury lamps are employed, with more than one wavelength used for imaging. Others use inkjet technology to build digitally imaged patterns such as legend print, soldermask or etch resist.

Read the full article here.

 

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.

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2016

Karl's Tech Talk: Digital Imaging Update

08-03-2016

Through the years, I have repeatedly covered and updated digital imaging in this column, from as far back as 1997 in CircuiTree, through a column in this magazine in November 2015. Several reasons for this extended coverage include the fact that technology had a slow, long incubation time that eventually led to accelerated improvements and acceptance for mass production.

View Story

Karl’s Tech Talk: Electronic Packaging Levels

06-10-2016

Electronic packaging refers to the integration of electronic elements into a functioning device by forming connectivity at different levels. One distinguishes between different levels of electronic packaging, a convention that is not always consistent.

View Story

Green Legislation and the Impact on Electronic Materials and Processes

04-05-2016

In general, “green” and “environmentally friendly” refer to manufacturing that involves the replacement of toxic substances with less toxic materials, the elimination of materials or processing steps, less consumption of chemicals (i.e., more efficient or higher yield processing), reduction of water use, reduction of energy use, less space requirement (i.e., smaller equipment footprint), recycling, and on-site recovery of materials.

View Story
Back

2015

Karl's Tech Talk: Digital Imaging Update

08-03-2016

Through the years, I have repeatedly covered and updated digital imaging in this column, from as far back as 1997 in CircuiTree, through a column in this magazine in November 2015. Several reasons for this extended coverage include the fact that technology had a slow, long incubation time that eventually led to accelerated improvements and acceptance for mass production.

View Story

Karl’s Tech Talk: Electronic Packaging Levels

06-10-2016

Electronic packaging refers to the integration of electronic elements into a functioning device by forming connectivity at different levels. One distinguishes between different levels of electronic packaging, a convention that is not always consistent.

View Story

Green Legislation and the Impact on Electronic Materials and Processes

04-05-2016

In general, “green” and “environmentally friendly” refer to manufacturing that involves the replacement of toxic substances with less toxic materials, the elimination of materials or processing steps, less consumption of chemicals (i.e., more efficient or higher yield processing), reduction of water use, reduction of energy use, less space requirement (i.e., smaller equipment footprint), recycling, and on-site recovery of materials.

View Story
Back

2014

Karl's Tech Talk: Digital Imaging Update

08-03-2016

Through the years, I have repeatedly covered and updated digital imaging in this column, from as far back as 1997 in CircuiTree, through a column in this magazine in November 2015. Several reasons for this extended coverage include the fact that technology had a slow, long incubation time that eventually led to accelerated improvements and acceptance for mass production.

View Story

Karl’s Tech Talk: Electronic Packaging Levels

06-10-2016

Electronic packaging refers to the integration of electronic elements into a functioning device by forming connectivity at different levels. One distinguishes between different levels of electronic packaging, a convention that is not always consistent.

View Story

Green Legislation and the Impact on Electronic Materials and Processes

04-05-2016

In general, “green” and “environmentally friendly” refer to manufacturing that involves the replacement of toxic substances with less toxic materials, the elimination of materials or processing steps, less consumption of chemicals (i.e., more efficient or higher yield processing), reduction of water use, reduction of energy use, less space requirement (i.e., smaller equipment footprint), recycling, and on-site recovery of materials.

View Story
Back

2013

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2012

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2011

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2010

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2009

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2008

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
Back

2007

Phototools, Part A

11-26-2013

The objective of this column from Karl Dietz is to familiarize you with artwork generation, the film types, and properties of silver and diazo films. Some technologies, no longer practiced, are mentioned to illustrate innovation and change over several decades.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Miniaturization and Reliability

10-15-2013

Miniaturization of electronic devices has been a trend over decades and is continuing into the foreseeable future. How this trend affects the reliability of these devices is an important question. Some processes, when applied to ever-smaller dimensions, reach a point where they yield less reliable structures, and changes in materials and processing are necessary to maintain reliability.

View Story

How Chip Advances Affect Packaging Processes & Materials

07-29-2013

Advances in chip performance often require advances in electronic packaging materials and processes. Columnist Karl Dietz tracks the cascading cause and effect relationships of such developments.

View Story

Solvent Use & Transition to Aqueous Processing in PCB Fabrication & Assembly

06-18-2013

Environmental and cost issues have slowly encouraged the transition away from solvents, especially halogenated hydrocarbons, toward the use of aqueous chemistries and water-miscible solvents. This has paved the way for the development of new photoresists and fluxes.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Laser Process Applications in Electronics

05-14-2013

Laser ablation approaches differ by laser source and in the type of material being ablated. Ablation of dielectric, metal, or resist are examples of techniques that differ in the material being ablated. Karl Dietz presents laser applications for patterning in PCB fabrication and reviews a number of other applications.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part II

04-23-2013

Screen printing applications for fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices vary, depending on use. In the second half of his two-part column Karl Dietz reviews the choices available to the industry.

View Story

Karl's Tech Talk: Screen Printing Applications, Part I

04-16-2013

Several screen printing applications are used in the fabrication and assembly of PCBs and electronic packages and devices. Columnist Karl Dietz reviews the most popular methods.

View Story
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