This week, Jesse Session, Technical Manager from Taiyo America, discuss what are the differences in the various digital solder mask formats (DI, LDI and Inkjet).
Dan Beaulieu: Jesse, I know your title, but what are you working on these days?
Jesse Session: We are working on some exciting projects. We are working on products for thermal management, white products with high reflectivity, environmentally friendly products, and products for digital formats.
Dan: I know that one of the hottest areas for Taiyo is digital solder mask formats. Why is that important?
Jesse: Over the years, we have seen devices such as cell phones and televisions get thinner and lighter weight. In addition to the reduction in thickness and weight, we have seen their capabilities grow. As a result, PCBs used in these devices must take up less space but deliver higher performance. The solder mas resolution required for tighter lines and spaces needs to be more accurate and precise. The traditional UV flood exposure has reached a limit in terms of accuracy and precision. Digital imaging platforms will be able to deliver the precision and/or accuracy that is need for new and upcoming technology. Therefore, solder mask manufacturers must offer solutions which will be compatible with these technologies.
Dan: What is Taiyo offering in terms of digital focused products?
Jesse: Taiyo is offering products for direct imaging (UV-LED and Laser) and for inkjet applications.
Dan: Please let me know what you are offering for inkjet products?
Jesse: For inkjet, we are offering solder mask products such as IJSR-4000 JM02DG and IJSR-4000 JM03G. These products have excellent performance and meet industry standards such as IPC-SM-840E. We are also developing inkjet solder mask in various colors and for flex applications. In addition to inkjet solder mask, Taiyo also offers inkjet legend inks and inkjet etch resist. The Taiyo group will continue to support new technology be introducing products to meet customer needs.
Dan: And also, the products you now have for LDI and DI technology?
Jesse: For LDI and DI technology, we offer a full line of solder mask products. The PSR-4000 LDI and PSR-9000 LDI series of solder mask were specifically designed for the high intensity, single wavelength, laser direct imaging units. The LDI series of solder mask offer fast exposing without sacrificing resolution or surface cure. The DI series of solder mask were specifically designed for the low intensity UV-LED imaging units. This series of solder mask offers also offers fast exposing without sacrificing resolution or surface cure. The LDI and DI series of solder mask are resistant to oxygen inhibition and meet industry standards such as IPC-SM-840E.
Dan: What do you see as the next great frontier when it comes to solder mask? Give us some insight on what we can expect.
Jesse: As devices continue to shrink and as technology moves away from petroleum-based energy, heat management will become an issue. Solder mask products will have to with stand higher temperature environments as well as dissipate heat from localized areas. Additive processes, such as inkjet, will become more prevalent in the future since waste reduction and sustainability (saving the environment) will become mandatory. Instead of just being a masking agent for the soldering process, solder mask will take on more of a role of being a protective coating for the PCB.