European Commission Focuses on Advanced Materials for Electronics
By Alison James, senior director, European government relations
IPC appreciated the opportunity to participate in a January 16, 2024 workshop organized by the European Commission to collect feedback on needs, challenges, and drivers for advanced materials. At the workshop, IPC highlighted the importance of advanced materials for electronics manufacturing and underlined the need for a comprehensive silicon-to-systems approach.
The European Commission expects in 2024 to issue a Communication on Advanced Materials for Industrial Leadership. This aligns with the 2024 priority announced by European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen in her State of the Union address in September 2023.
Advanced materials are described as “materials intentionally designed and engineered to offer a superior performance or special functional attributes to a product,” such as materials that will be important to the digital and green transitions in the EU. Advanced materials have numerous potential benefits, including substitution for critical raw materials, increased performance, and circularity.
Electronics has been identified as a sector in which advanced materials have major potential along with mobility, construction, and energy. The EU aims to develop and scale up advanced materials for industrial use in the longer term. This involves connecting research and innovation (R&I) with the needs of European industries.
In consultation with industry members and materials experts, IPC submitted a background note highlighting needs across the electronics manufacturing sector. Dr. Peter Tranitz, IPC’s senior director of technology solutions, highlighted the following points:
- A silicon-to-systems approach taken for electronic materials assessment is necessary. This spans semiconductors through electronic packaging interconnected to printed circuit boards into final system assemblies.
- Further road mapping of electronic materials is needed.
- Quality, performance, and reliability of advanced materials selection should be balanced with availability, resiliency, design for sustainability, recyclability, and circularity.
IPC noted the functions on which material needs should focus to include: “Materials for electronics assembly and interconnection from silicon to systems, that increase the performance and reliability of electronic systems, improve production quality, while reducing manufacturing's environmental footprint.”
IPC invites you to let us know what your company needs to ensure availability of advanced materials in electronics manufacturing processes and products. We welcome additional input from our European members to ensure a research and innovation focus on advanced materials needed for industrial production in Europe.
IPC will report back once the Commission Communication is issued.