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Electronics Production | March 12, 2007

ELFNET launches Interconnection Roadmap

After 3 years of collective effort, ELFNET experts have launched a Roadmap – 'The Future of European Electronics Interconnection'.
This Roadmap integrates accumulated ELFNET knowledge with data from existing industry roadmaps to describe how key factors such as lead-free soldering, sustainability and miniaturisation are impacting on interconnection supply chain, materials and processes.

This new Roadmap document presents 50 high priority challenges in the field of electronics interconnection. These challenges need to be met over the forthcoming decade and future research and development directions are highlighted to help achieve this. The Roadmap also gives detailed information on 34 key interconnection topics and includes tables with quantified forecast data on electronics interconnection trends.

“The ELFNET Roadmap is a major deliverable from the ELFNET project. It is an important step forward in focussing European research on investment towards collectively agreed high priority topics," comments Dr. Jeremy Pearce, ELFNET Coordinator. “With this tool, ELFNET has met its key objective, addressing the challenges of fragmentation, disjointed funding mechanisms and poor communication in the European research environment."

The EU-funded ELFNET network represents key European players in electronics interconnection research, including leading academics, research centres and industry partners. This community has worked together in identifying issues and developing collaborative solutions during the radical technology transition to lead-free soldering.

“It is clear from the Roadmap that there is a vast amount of work needed to address current business drivers, environmental and consumer pressures," continues Dr. Jeremy Pearce. “From the perspective of lead-free soldering, there remain major unsolved issues. Urgent concerns over a lack of knowledge in reliability issues have to be addressed and are a focus for high reliability applications, such as aerospace and defence."

Continued coordination of this research work at the pan-European level is clearly desirable, but EU funding for ELFNET will cease in March 2007. It is anticipated that new networks, based on partnerships originated within ELFNET, will materialise around the topics highlighted in the Roadmap, notably Reliability. This will be enhanced by new collaborative projects commencing under the EU Framework 7 funding in 2008 and beyond.

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