NEMI launches new optoelectronics projects

June 12, 2002--The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI), an industry-led consortium, has announced the launch of three new optoelectronics projects and a special optoelectronics study group.

The National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI), an industry-led consortium, has announced the launch of three new optoelectronics projects and a special optoelectronics study group. The new projects will focus on optic adhesives, fiber handling, and fiber-optic signal performance, while the study group will investigate the use of optoelectronics in substrates.

"These projects are the fruits of a lot of effort by a group of dedicated volunteers who have helped to define the issues," explains Alan Rae, chair of the NEMI Optoelectronics Technology Integration Group (TIG) and vice president, technology, for Cookson Electronics. "Companies participating in these projects have the opportunity to shape the future of this industry by sharing in the development of volume manufacturing infrastructure. Our objectives are to improve yields and decrease costs of optoelectronics assemblies and products. This is absolutely critical to ensuring the opening of new product markets for a number of high-volume applications such as bringing high-bandwidth optical fiber into neighborhoods."

Project definitions and objectives of the three new projects are as follow:

Optic Adhesives Project: This project will identify optoelectronic adhesive materials with properties that are compatible with component assembly. The objective is to minimize mechanical stresses in order to maximize assembly reliability. The first phase will develop a database of materials currently offered for optical and MEMs applications, and the second phase will develop a users and suppliers group. Steve Adamson of Asymtek is chairing this project.

Fiber Handling Project: The focus of this project is on creation of standards for an optical fiber carrier system in order to facilitate the handling and processing of optical fiber during component manufacturing. These standards are intended to help component manufacturers improve the cost and quality of fiber-optic components; provide fiber-optic equipment manufacturers with standard solutions for handling optical fiber in manufacturing processes; and enable equipment as well as component manufacturers to enjoy economies of scale, systematic process improvement, and consistent sources of supply for fiber handling devices. The project is chaired by Dan Nelson of JDS Uniphase.

Fiber Optic Signal Performance Project: The objective of this project is to determine the effects of various anomalies on the performance of a fiber-optic signals, identifying the severity of optical signal loss due to the most common hazards found in suppliers' and internal manufacturing processes. The project also plans to develop connector end-face inspection criteria to determine specific cleanliness requirements and will quantitatively validate the inspection and cleaning strategies historically endorsed by the industry. The project is co-chaired by Dave Silmser, Alcatel Canada, and Tatiana Berdinskikh, Celestica Inc.

The newly formed substrates study group, headed by Jack Fisher as a NEMI consultant, will address the implementation of optical and optoelectronic technologies in printed wiring boards (PWBs) used in very high performance applications. The group will identify future product needs and define areas where NEMI can concentrate member efforts to develop industry-wide solutions.

These new efforts join NEMI's Optoelectronics Solder Automation and Optoelectronics Splicing projects to round out the consortium's optoelectronics initiatives. The Solder Automation Project, chaired by Prashant Chouta of Cookson Electronics, is evaluating alternative attachment techniques to determine reliability, cost, and yields of each. The Splicing Project is working to reduce assembly costs by identifying low-cost, high-reliability, high-yield processes for managing splicing systems in optoelectronics assemblies. This effort is led by Peter Arrowsmith of Celestica.

For more information about the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (Herndon, VA), visit the consortium's Web site at

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