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PCEA Webinar: AI in Electronics

March 6 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


As use of artificial intelligence in electronics design and manufacturing becomes a discussion point, it recalls a similar debate from 40 years ago on the impact of a new technology that promised to disrupt the industry norms of that era. On March 6 from 1 to 2 pm Eastern, a special panel convened by PCEA will participate in a webinar where they consider the actual intelligence in these tools, and the ways – and how soon – they might impact the industry.

To register click here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/#register/230166701924848478


Phil Marcoux, who is credited with installing the surface mount line in the US, will moderate the panel. He writes:

I was blessed to be part of helping facilitate the acceptance of something called SMT, having co-founded and managed one of the first design and manufacturing companies devoted to SMT and trying to employ as much automation (and I guess early AI), as possible. 

Starting in 1982 industry sponsored panels (no webinars in that day!) comprised of several early adopters debated the need for collaborative data gathering to create the fundamental needs to successfully design and manufacture using the heretical idea of soldering components onto the surface of pcbs rather than in holes. 

Getting the experienced practitioners to share data was worse than pulling teeth.  It wasn’t until certain departments of the US government and two persuasive individuals in the IPC (Ray Pritchard and Dieter Bergman) coerced a gathering of 20 C-level executives that cooperation was needed. This led to the creation of The Surface Mount Council, of which I was a charter member and served for its entire 12 years.

Handing off its duties in 2001 to a more international effort led by IPC, the Council published more than six white papers. The SMC has also participated in the SMART, SMI, IPC SMEMA Council’s APEX and SMTAI technical conferences and initiated and sponsored joint standards for new technologies, including TR-001, “An Introduction to Tape Automated Bonding Fine Pitch Technology,” J-STD-012, “Implementation of Flip Chip and Chip Scale Technology” and J-STD-013, “Implementation of Ball Grid Array & Other High Density Technology.”

Early in the SMC effort it was apparent that gaining industry wide acceptance depended on data sharing, particularly for design guidelines, especially land patterns, metallization standards for components, and workmanship criteria. Without common knowledge of these the SMT effort would continue to flounder.

I think the same will happen with the effort to incorporate problem solving, process control, and early warning power, among other benefits, of the use of AI-assisted tools.

In addition to the challenge of creating adequate databases of information necessary for the intelligence in AI, we have the issue of how to communicate these data without compromising the data owner’s needs. And just as with SMT, there’s a large concern about the impact on jobs. If the history of SMT teaches us anything, it’s that AI can help the industry create new and more productive jobs.

On Mar. 6, one of the first gatherings of experts in AI for electronics will be held. Will this be the start of a new inflection point in the electronics industry, leading to the creation of many new products exceeding the marvels of those resulting from the use of SMT?

Attend and be a part of history.

This webinar is free for all PCEA members. Join for free at https://pcea.net/pcea-membership.
• Tomide Adesanmi, Circuit Mind
• Taylor Hogan, Cadence
• Kyle Miller, Ph.D., Zuken
• Sebastian Schaal, Luminovo
• David Wiens, Siemens Digital Industries
Moderated by Phil Marcoux