Printed electronics standards initiative starts with substrate materials


IPC ??? Association Connecting Electronics Industries and JPCA (Japan Electronics Packaging and Circuits Association) released their first operational-level standard for the printed electronics industry, IPC/JPCA-4921, Requirements for Printed Electronics Base Materials (Substrates). The standard defines terms and establishes basic requirements for substrate materials used in printed electronics: ceramic, organic, metal, glass and other.

Printed electronics is still in its infancy, with commercialization spurts and lacking standard manufacturing practices. Printed electronics are generally made with long-established technologies combined with recent innovations, IPC and JPCA point out. Electronics can be printed on diverse materials, which both opens new opportunities and limits growth/targeted development programs. ???It???s difficult to grasp the breadth of opportunities when a range of materials can be printed onto various substrates to produce from very simple electronic circuits to the highly complex,??? said IPC Director of Technology Transfer Marc Carter.

For this technology to become a stand-alone industry, it must have some commonalities that help build a structure, said Carter. The standard aims to provide a common language for designers, equipment makers and manufacturers.

IPC/JPCA-4921 provides a starting point for IPC???s Printed Electronics Initiative to establish a critical segment of the infrastructure that will help the industry expand more quickly. This initiative includes a dedicated management council for companies to discuss issues and to help develop tools and studies; a printed electronics conference track and exhibition area at IPC APEX EXPO 2013; and more industry standards, in continued partnership with JPCA..???M.C

Solid State Technology, Volume 55, Issue 7, September 2012