Cutting-edge research collaboration enables technology leadership in electronics assembly market.

April 8, 2015 – On March 25–26, Universal Instruments’ Advanced Process Lab (APL) held its first AREA Consortium meeting of 2015. The event was held at the Binghamton University campus, near Universal’s corporate headquarters in Conklin, N.Y., and represented the 79th AREA Consortium meeting since the inception of the cooperative research effort nearly 20 years ago.

The meeting was highlighted by the welcoming of two new members to the consortium: Henkel Electronic Materials LLC and Keysight Technologies, Inc. The addition of these companies brings fresh perspective and enhances the depth of competencies within the AREA Consortium.

“Our members are all industry leaders which bring unique challenges and insight to the group,” said consortium manager, Dr. Jim Wilcox. “We embrace and leverage this diversity in order to research a full spectrum of new and emerging electronics assembly technologies.”

The two-day meeting featured more than 50 attendees from member companies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Autoliv, BTU International, Celestica, DEK, Dell, Ericsson, Harris, Henkel, IBM, Indium Corporation, Koh Young, Lockheed Martin, Nihon Superior, Northrop Grumman, OK International, Rockwell Automation and Zebra Technologies. Also in attendance were representatives from invited guests HB Fuller and Boeing.

Topics included an array of board-level interconnect research, including reliability studies using alternate lead-free solder alloys, various underfill materials and conformal coatings. Also examined was the characterization and consequences of temperature-induced package and board warpage – a common packaging industry challenge. In addition, consortium members Celestica and IBM presented their supporting findings for two key consortium projects.

Wilcox was pleased with the level of member participation at the meeting, noting, “The shared technical content reflects the level of industry and academic collaboration required to achieve our objectives and sustain the relevance of AREA research year after year.”

The 2015 AREA Consortium research portfolio includes interconnect reliability investigations for 2.5D and 3D semiconductor packaging in the form of a fine-pitch copper pillar evaluation project, representing the consortium’s first venture into the fast-growing field of packaging integration. Corning, which supplied the glass interposers for this 2.5D packaging project, was in attendance to provide background for this promising new technology.

The APL also showcased its growing list of reliability test capabilities and noted the upcoming addition of vibration testing and power cycle testing to its existing portfolio.

To find out how Universal’s Advanced Process Laboratory can help your organization, or how to become a member of the APL’s AREA Consortium, please contact APL Director David Vicari at 607-779-5151 or, or APL Associate Director, Dr. Denis Barbini at 603-828-2289 or