March 2024 Newsletter




PCEA’s first UHDI & Substrates: Design to Package Forum will be held on June 5, in conjunction with PCB East in Boxborough, MA.

UHDI, or ultra high-density interconnect, describes lines and spaces of less than 25 microns on a printed circuit board. Among the presentations are talks on standards, electrohydrodynamic (EHD) printing, direct imaging for less than 15 microns, a new mSAP process, a new replacement for ABF (Ajinomoto Build-Up Film), planning a new UHDI facility, and new materials for UHDI. Each presentation will be 30 minutes. The program will close with a panel discussion.

The forum is chaired by Gene Weiner of Weiner International Associates. Peter Bigelow, president of FTG East, and Alun Morgan, technology ambassador of Ventec and president of the European Institute for the PCB Community (EIPC) are vice chairmen.

We are looking forward to our webinar on AI in Electronics on March 6. This special panel of domain experts will debate where they consider the actual intelligence in these tools, and the ways – and how soon – they might impact the industry. To register for the AI webinar click here.

All webinars include time for audience questions.

Past webinars can be seen on our YouTube channel or at Printed Circuit University.

Registration for PCB East 2024 is coming along nicely, well ahead of last year’s pace. And watch the website for further details on the special UHDI (ultra HDI) Forum being held concurrently at PCB East.

We expect to be at several events this spring, including the SMTA Dallas Expo and the Del Mar Electronics Show, among others, so please look for us.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

Please forward your chapter news to for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

Denver: We are considering holding a chapter meeting on May 13 in the greater Denver area. If you have a meeting space that can accommodate at least 30 persons, please email

New England: The chapter plans a kickoff meeting on May 2, probably in the Andover (MA) area. Among the planned speakers are Gopu Achath of EMA Design Automation on supply chain-driven circuit design and Paul Yang of Jove PCB on embedded inductors. Contact Mike Buetow at for details

San Diego: Stephen Chavez headlines our special chapter session taking place in conjunction with the Del Mar Electronics Show on Apr. 24. Chavez will speak on PCB design best practices. For information, contact Luke Hausherr (

Silicon Valley: The next chapter meeting is Mar. 14 from 11:30 to 1:30 PST. The meeting topic is Design Essentials to Maintain Signal Integrity, presented by Amit Bahl of Sierra Circuits. The meeting will be held live at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Please RSVP no later than 12pm on Mar. 7. To sign up send “RSVP” to Include name, job title and company. Also, let us know if you need a vegetarian meal.

Upcoming conferences:

  • PCB East: June 4-7 in the Boston suburbs.
  • PCB West: October 8-11 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center.

PCEA Training. PCEA will hold Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and certification classes as follows:

Classes currently scheduled for 2024 are as follows:

  • April 5 – May 3
  • June 14 – 28

More classes will be scheduled for later in the year. Learn more at

Reading Material

Highlights of the recent issues of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

  • Ruggedized electronics. Automotive electrical systems require more robust hardware due to their unusual working conditions and environmental exposure. A discussion of material choices designed to combat temperature, vibration, heat and various aggressive environments, as well as a showcase of test methods used.
  • Parts libraries.With more than 16 million components and 250,000 unique downloads per month, Ultra Librarian has built what it calls the biggest CAD library in the world. PCD&F visited the company’s office in Alabama to find its secret to success.
  • Designing for PCB manufacturability. Tips for preparing for fabrication.
  • Low-temperature soldering. It can bring a host of benefits to electronics, but the lack of a standard solder alloy and the unique properties of emerging alloys require development of new fluxes and processes. Several factors are explored, including the limited availability of low-temperature alloys, the disadvantages of high-bismuth alloys and the impact of additive elements on alloy properties.
  • Artificial intelligence. The growth of AI brings a new set of questions about the role of automation in factories. Arch Systems cofounder and CEO Andrew Scheuermann offers his perspective on the emerging technology.
  • Component stratgies. Integrating FPGA and PCB design.
  • M&A. Renesas’ acquisition of Altium brings questions.

Read it all here.

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