ANAHEIM, Calif. Thousands of engineers expect to be spending time this week browsing the aisles at the Nepcon West show, here, to examine a multitude of new products in everything from solder paste to expensive test and production equipment.
At the same time, they'll hear of the latest advances in packaging and testing techniques at technical sessions so numerous and broad that it may make it tough for attendees to enjoy the warm weather that has helped fuel the success of this annual meet, which opens today.
Technical sessions cover the broad scope that has made Nepcon West a mainstay of this busy conference season. In addition, several six-hour Learning Center courses will address such issues as thermal profiling, ball-grid array and chip-scale packaging, and flip-chip manufacturing, among other topics.
Thanks to the conference's reputation as a stellar spot to debut test products, the technical sessions will also examine a number of topics across the testing realm. Many of the Nepcon test introductions are detailed on this page and in those that follow.
Continued advances in test of surface-mount boards will be a popular session for engineers who are using fewer through-hole components. New strategies for efficiently testing the hidden balls of array packages will be among the concepts discussed.
A technical session on the growing area of PC-based test highlights the depth of the papers that will be presented. Developing instrument drivers is one topic, followed by an exploration of the role of Compact PCI and PXI buses in expanding instrument horizons. Two other discussions will examine interfaces, looking at how the Universal Serial Bus and 1394/FireWire/i.Link will affect PC-based instrumentation.
Another key area of interest for design engineers will be the packaging sessions. The industry's quick adoption of chip-scale technology will be one of the hot topics, with presentations that address chip-scale development challenges. A similar session will examine two terms that can be tough to differentiate, chip scale and micro BGA.