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IPC Conference Convenes Top Industry Experts

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — The microscopic crystalline structures known as tin whiskers will be the focus of an IPC technical conference and workshops, December 6–7, 2010, in Schaumburg, Ill. IPC Tin Whiskers Conference: Practical Perspectives will convene industry experts from all market sectors to present the latest research and practical methodologies to mitigate the risk of tin whiskers. Presentations will provide real-world examples to illustrate causes of growth, risk mitigation, implications of material selection, methods for detection and failure analysis.

The technical conference will kick off on December 7 with a keynote presentation, “Practical Perspectives on Tin Whiskers,” by Dave Hillman, principal materials and process engineer at Rockwell Collins. Other presentations will explore: controlling the copper substrate roughness and controlling the tin deposit crystal structure; long term investigation of conformal coating; susceptibility testing; evaluations of nanotechnology-based component surface finishes; pressure-induced growth in press-in connections of PCB through-holes; reliability issues from a military perspective; and forensics, using automotive case studies. Technical conference speakers include representatives from ACI Technologies; Benchmark Electronics; Boeing Satellite Systems; CALCE; Continental Automotive GmbH; Delphi Electronics and Safety; EMC Corporation; MacDermid; NASA Goddard Space Center; SAIC; Sundew Technologies; the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Uyemura International Corporation.

Prior to the technical conference, two half-day workshops will take place on December 6. DfR Solutions CEO Craig Hillman, Ph.D., will provide an understanding of fundamental drivers of tin whisker growth in a morning workshop. He will discuss the roles that material diffusion, stress gradients, oxide formation and various plating elements play in tin whisker formation, and how elements of the environment, including temperature, humidity, vibration, mechanical shock, corrosion, pressure and bending impact the drivers. Dr. Hillman will also explain the risks and benefits of implementing existing tin whisker prediction algorithms into design decisions and reliability forecasts.

The afternoon workshop, “Controlling Tin Whisker Risk: Implementation of Appropriate Mitigations,” will be led by David Pinsky. A principal engineer at Raytheon Company, Pinsky will cover the practical aspects of managing tin whisker risks within the context of high-reliability systems. He will share proven techniques for integrating various approaches into a successful program of risk mitigation and discuss the trade-offs inherent in implementing these techniques.

For more information on the IPC Tin Whiskers Conference: Practical Perspectives or to register, visit:


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