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OK, so no EP boom but there appear to have been a small puff…

Per Viklund

Per Viklund

Posted Feb 17, 2012

The IPC Embedded Mailing list ( has been silent –some may claim stone dead for a very long time.

My article and subsequent blog posts claiming that there never was an Embedded Passive boom apparently provoked some and an intense discussion broke out on the mailing list where EP material vendors, IPC, EIA, EIC standardization committee members, PCB designers, board shops….argued that  the boom actually happened.

From where I stand, there was no boom –not the way we expected it anyway but perhaps there was at least a puff…

It all comes down to the “boom criteria” –and who decides those….
Should we go by what percentage of designs use EP?
Or maybe how many sq-ft of boards use EP compared to not use EP?
Maybe just the fact that a lot of EP materials are being shipped is enough to claim a boom?
…and is it fair to compare embedded capacitance planes and embedded resistors at the same time?

Clearly, EP’s mean different things to different people and success depends on how you define it and I would be the first to admit that in certain segments such as Medical, Automotive, Mil/Aero and SIP packaging, EP’s are pretty much mainstream technology today.  
Read more in my article in PCB Magazine.

Now, as I wrote in an earlier post, some of the business drivers for EP’s has lost their value. So, does it end here?

No way!

The  market drivers asking for cheaper, smaller, more speed are still there  -obviously!
…and if EP’s by themselves don’t meet those drivers you can take the embedding even further:  

Let’s embed everything!

Lately, cost effective and reliable processes that let you embed bare dies, SMD-components and EP’s in to a very thin laminate/build up substrates has become available.

Take a look at the presentations from the European HERMES project and the US EMAP-II project readily available on the web:

or take a look at AT&S ECP process at

In a few coming posts, I will talk more about this technology and why I think this technology will take off big time  even though traditional EP’s hasn’t  …and of course, discuss the design challenges involved. -Stay tuned!

Embedded passives, RF

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