IPC Releases Global Public Policy Framework for 2015; Announces Dates for “IMPACT 2015: IPC ON CAPITOL HILL”

As an advocate for the electronics industry and a voice of its 3,500 member companies, who are spread across the entire electronics supply chain, IPC released its Global Policy Framework for 2015. This framework lays the foundation for IPC’s global advocacy efforts, outlining the top public policy priorities to promote a strong manufacturing economy.

The Global Policy Framework for 2015 targets four broad areas: driving technological innovation and advanced manufacturing; promoting a 21st century economy and workforce; advocating for smart regulation; and supporting science-based environmental protection. Specific issues under these headings included public-private partnerships for manufacturing innovation, tax policy, education and training, and environmental health and safety policy.

In addition to releasing its Global Policy Framework, IPC is also announcing the dates of its major U.S. public policy event of the year, “IMPACT 2015: IPC ON CAPITOL HILL.” This two-day event will take place on April 29 and 30, 2015 in Washington, D.C., giving C-level executives a unique opportunity to interact with senior policymakers and advise them on issues that affect the electronics industry.

Registration for IMPACT 2015 will be opened shortly at www.ipc.org. The Global Policy Framework can be found on IPC’s website at www.ipc.org/global-policy-framework.


Get your questions on export control regulations answered at IPC APEX EXPO

Do you have questions regarding the recent changes to U.S. export control regulations and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)?

Do you fully understand what “specially designed” PCBs for defense-related purposes and controlled under USML Category XI really means for military electronics, including printed circuit boards?

Join Sam Harmon, Foreign Service officer, Directorate of Defense Trade Control, U.S. Department of State, on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, California for a special meeting titled: New Export Control Regulations and Changes to ITAR Restrictions for Electronics.

Mr. Harmon will help clarify any confusion in the defense industry about ITAR’s effect on PCBs in ITAR-controlled defense articles. He will discuss how these regulations impact the industry, as well as answer questions regarding specific export controls.

Don’t risk misunderstanding these new regulations. Join us at this special meeting on Tuesday, February 24. For additional information, visit www.ipcapexexpo.org.

3D IC Integration and 3D IC Packaging

3D IC integration is taking the semiconductor industry by storm. It has been: (a) impacting chip suppliers, fab-less design houses, foundries, integrated device manufacturers, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test, substrates, electronic manufacturing service, original design manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, material and equipment suppliers, universities, and research institutes; (b) attracting researchers and engineers from all over the world to go to conferences, lectures, workshops, panels, and forums to present their findings, exchange information, look for solutions, learn the latest technologies, and plan for their futures; and (c) pushing the industry to build standards, infrastructures, and ecosystems for 3D IC integration.

This is a perfect storm! People think that Moore’s law is going to roll off soon, and 3D IC integration can be the solution. In order to prepare for the future and get competitive edges, companies and research institutes have been investing heavily on both human and physical resources for 3D IC integration.

Meanwhile, 3D IC packaging such as stacking chips with wirebondings, package-on-package (PoP), chip-to-chip interconnects, embedded passives and actives, and fan-out embedded WLP have been used by mobile products, such as smartphones and tablets, and will be the main driver for materials consumption and new materials development for the wearable products like smartwatch.

On Monday, February 23, 2015, from 9:00 to 12:00 pm, I will give a professional development course (PD14) at IPC APEX EXPO to be held at the San Diego Conference Center. Course contents are shown below. Please join me.

1. 3D IC Packaging
(a) Stack Chips by Wire Bonding
(b) Package-on-Package (PoP)
(c) Chip-to-Chip Interconnect
(d) Fan-Out Embedded Wafer Level Package

2. TSV Technology
(a) Potential Applications of TSV
(b) Via Formation
(c) Dielectric Layer Deposition
(d) Barrier Layer and Seed Deposition
(e) Cu Plating
(f) Chemical-Mechanical Polishing

3. Micro Bumping, Assembly, and Reliability
(a) Fine-Pitch Cu-Pillar + Solder Cap Bumps
(b) Fine-Pitch Cu-Pillar + Solder Cap + Underfill
(c) Reliability data

4. 3D IC Integration
(a) Memory-Chip Stacking
(b) Wide I/O DRAM and Wide I/O 2
(c) Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC)
(d) HMC Examples: Intel, Fujitsu, Altera, Pico Computing, etc.
(d) High Bandwidth Memory (HBM)
(e) Wide I/O Memory (or Logic-on-Logic)
(f) Samsung’s Widcon

5. 2.5D IC Integration
(a) Design for Cost, Performance, Power, and Reliability
(b) Interposers
(c) Low-Cost Interposers
(d) Re-Distribution Layers; Polymer and Cu Damascene Methods
(e) Thin-Wafer Handling and Cu Revealing
(f) Conventional Integration Process Flow
(g) TI Stacked TSV-WCSP Integration Process Flow
(h) TSMC’s Integration Process Flow with Molding
(i) TSMC’s Integration Process Flow with Molding and heat sink
(j) ITRI’s Integration Process Flow with a Heat Spreader Wafer
(k) Next Generation of Package Substrates

6. Supply Chains and Ownerships for 2.5D/3D IC Integration

7. Thermal Management of 2.5D/3D IC Integration

8. 3D MEMS/IC Integration

9. 3D LED/IC Integration

10. 3D CIS/IC Integration

Federal Regulatory Reform Bill Passes House

On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act. This bi-partisan bill is designed to curb costly regulations that negatively impact electronics companies’ ability to compete in a global marketplace.

IPC, along with other industry groups, signed a letter in support of the bill. This letter was essential during the floor debate as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), a sponsor of the bill, referenced the letter to show the bill’s broad support.

IPC has supported this bill through its House passage in 2013, 2014 and now, 2015. This legislative effort was one of the issues discussed during IPC’s advocacy event, IMPACT 2014, last June.

IPC will be working in the months ahead to make sure our industry’s voice is heard as this bill progresses and hopefully gets taken up by the Senate.

You can read more about the bill and how it will modernize the federal rulemaking process here.

IPC Endorses Legislation to Improve Federal Regulatory Process

There is a growing, complex regulatory burden that negatively impacts electronics companies’ ability to develop innovative technology, create jobs and compete in a global marketplace. IPC strongly supports efforts among governments to reform their regulatory processes to ensure greater public scrutiny and more thoughtful deliberation on regulations that are likely to impede business growth.

That’s why IPC joined with other groups in signing a letter of support that will be sent to all the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them to pass H.R. 185, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015. Regulatory reform legislation will be a high priority for Congress this session, with the House of Representatives voting on H.R. 185 as early as this week.

Re-introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 is a bipartisan bill designed to curb costly regulations. IPC has supported this bill through its passage by the House in 2013 and 2014 and continues to do so in 2015. The bill would modernize the federal rulemaking process, which has been unchanged for nearly 70 years. This bill would make several changes, including:

  • Increasing public participation in shaping the most costly regulations before they are proposed;
  • Requiring that agencies must choose the least costly option, unless they can demonstrate that public health, safety, or welfare requires a more costly requirement;
  • Providing for on-the-record administrative hearings for the most costly regulations to ensure that agency data is well tested and reviewed; and
  • Providing for a more rigorous test in legal challenges for those regulations that would have the most impact.

The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 would make the regulatory process more transparent, agencies more accountable, and regulations more cost-effective. By passing this bill, Congress would ensure that federal agencies use the best information available in rulemakings to produce sound regulations. IPC will be working in the months ahead to make sure our industry’s voice is heard as this bill makes it way through the legislative process.

Additional Substances to be Restricted Under RoHS2

On December 17, 2014, the EU Commission notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intentions to restrict four additional substances under the RoHS2 Directive. The four phthalates, Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) will be added to the directive in March.

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), which was recommended for priority review and restriction under Annex 10 or RoHS2 was evaluated but will not be added to the RoHS directive is already restricted under the Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs) treaty and has widely exited the market. DIBP was added to the list of restricted substances because it was a common substitute for the other phthalates restricted. The EU Commission chose to restrict DIBP in order to avoid regrettable substitution.

These additional substances for restriction were added following the priority review of additional substances for restriction as stipulated in the RoHS2 Directive. IPC successfully lobbied the EU Parliament not to add additional substances for restriction directly the RoHS Directive, but rather to conduct a scientific evaluation of substances and alternatives. This process was delegated to the EU Commission. IPC will continue to monitor developments surrounding the RoHS Directive.

IPC Unveils New IPC Korea Standards Committee

With the support of IPC and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, the IPC Korea Standards Committee officially opened for business on December 15, 2014. The opening ceremony was hosted by Korea Electronics Technology Association (KETA) in Gumi, South Korea, and boasted a list of 31 attendees, including: LIG Nex1, SAMSUNG Thales, Hanwha, and the Korean Air Force. IPC Korea certification training center provided invaluable support for the launch of the IPC Korea Standards committee.

Specifically, IPC Korea Standards Committee will help its members to develop and revise global standards, educate and train workers, provide technology consultation, hold technology development forums, standardize electronics terminologies in Korean, and hold networking events. This will help establish a collaborative relationship among the government, electronics industry, and academia.

Gun Hyuk Lee of LIG Nex1 was announced as the first chairman of IPC Korea Standards Committee. He expressed his excitement to strengthen Korea’s electronics industry through the development and revision of global standards, with an emphasis on growing the electronics assembly industry. Kwang Wook Lee from Korea Air Force will serve as vice chairman of the committee.

IPC Korea Standards Committee has already established working groups on IPC’s most globally used standards including IPC-A-610 (assembly workmanship), IPC J-STD-001 (soldering), IPC-A-600 (PCB workmanship), IPC-7711/21 (PCB and assembly rework and repair, and IPC-A-620 (wire harness acceptability).

For additional information on the standards committee or to participate, contact David Bergman, IPC vice president of standards, technology and international relations, at +1 847-597-2840 or DavidBergman@ipc.org.


IPC Korea Standards Committee




Tax Extenders Bill Passed

This week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation known as the tax extenders bill by a vote of 76 to 16, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill. The following tax extenders were among the provisions included in the bill, which were applied retroactively and cost $41.6B according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

  • R&D credit
  • Bonus depreciation
  • 15-year depreciation for restaurants
  • Parity for mass transit and parking benefits
  • Sec. 199 deduction for Puerto Rico
  • Rum excise tax cover-over program for Puerto Rico
  • Modified production tax credit for renewable electricity production
  • Unrelated business income tax
  • New markets tax credit
  • Work opportunity tax credit

These provisions were only passed through 2014; and therefore, expire in just a few weeks.  Given this, efforts will be quickly underway for a new extension.

For more information on the tax extenders bill or IPC’s government relations efforts, contact Ken Schramko, IPC director of government relations, at KenSchramko@ipc.org or +1 202-661-8094.

2014 DSW Rule Fails to Sufficiently Incentivize Recycling

On December 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a final version of the 2011 proposed revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule. Unfortunately, the final rule fails to provide adequate regulatory relief for manufacturers wishing to do the right thing by recycling valuable secondary materials.

“IPC is disappointed that the DSW rule provides insufficient incentives to promote recycling of secondary materials and maintains many onerous and unnecessary requirements proposed in 2011,” said Fern Abrams, IPC director of regulatory affairs and government relations. Abrams continued, “The rule retains significant and unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

Although EPA has substituted a verified recycler provision for the more burdensome subtitle C regulations proposed in 2011, IPC remains concerned that the requirements could prove too onerous to encourage additional facilities to recycle secondary materials.

The most critical and important benefits of the 2008 DSW rule are undercut by the more burdensome and unnecessary provisions signed last week. The 2008 DSW rule had the potential to save industry, including electronics manufacturers, approximately $95 million per year while simultaneously providing an environmental benefit by reducing waste.

According to John Hasselmann, IPC vice president of government relations, “This issue has a significant effect on our members and we hope EPA will continue to look for opportunities to reduce the regulatory disincentives to recycling.”

Since 2007, IPC has advocated for a DSW rule that would promote and incentivize recycling of secondary materials. Wastewater treatment sludge from electroplating operations, predominately from the metal finishing and printed board industries, represents one of the United States’ largest potential sources of recoverable metals.

A pre-publication copy of the rule is available.  Visit IPC’s website for more information on the DSW rule.

New Regulations for Defense PCBs Take Effect December 30, 2014

New regulations for Military Electronics (Category XI) go into effect on December 30, 2014. The changes to the U.S. Munitions List, which is regulated through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), states that printed circuit boards (PCBs) “specially designed” for defense-related purposes will be controlled under USML Category XI. Additionally, any designs or digital data related to “specially designed” PCBs will be controlled as technical data.

The rule, which was advocated for by IPC, clarifies and highlights the importance of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on PCBs in ITAR-controlled defense articles. This clarity represents a significant step in addressing the confusion in the defense industry about ITAR controls on PCBs, which should reduce inappropriate sourcing of printed boards for ITAR items from non-ITAR facilities.

For more information, consider attending a special briefing and open discussion with State Department official Sam Harmon on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, Calif.



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