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"Recipe for a New Embedded Component: Connectors" -- Dirk Brown and John Williams, Neoconix

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
  • Seated dinner served at 6:30 ($25 if reserved before March 11; $30 after & at door; vegetarian available)

  • Presentation (no cost) at 7:30.

    Ramada Inn

  • 1217 Wildwood Ave (Fwy 101 frontage road, between Lawrence Expressway and Great America Parkway), Sunnyvale, (800) 888-3899 -- see map.


  • For dinner and/or meeting: by email to Janis Karklins
  • Please reserve for "presentation-only", even if not attending the dinner.

    Connectors and sockets as we know them today are assemblies of stamped metal contacts housed in a molded plastic part. Neoconix uses photolithography, potentially offering better dimensional scalability and resulting electrical performance improvements, plus lower cost. The implications of the Neoconix technologies are nothing less than a complete shift of today's interconnection paradigm. Low-profile connectors - about as thick as a printed circuit - are just what portable products need.

    Recipe for a New Embedded Component-Connectors: Fabricate rigid or flexible printed circuit boards and chem mill contact sheets. Form and plate the contacts and etch them apart after insertion between pre-drilled printed circuit layers and press.

    In summary, here are some of the results:

    • A concentration on land grid array connections today, that takes advantage of fine dimensions, low parasitics, good contact wipe (and major customer needs)
    • The ability to circuitize the board, embed discrete or distributed bypass capacitors and terminating resistors
    • Differentiate dense contacts by high resolution photolithography etched apart into signal, ground, and voltage - no piece-parts to individually plate or assemble
    • Overcome the scaling-down disadvantages of stamp-and-form by use of photolithography and etch

    The technology is particularly appropriate for the low profile requirements of flex circuit connectors, and the implications of the Neoconix technologies are nothing less than a complete shift of today's interconnection paradigm, including a whole new way of making connectors. Embedded connectors will give new freedom to designers to design their connectors integral with systems, wherever they want them. It's a supply chain simplification.

    Speaker Biography:
    Neoconix' ( roots go back to AMD's Submicron Development Center in the mid-1990's. Two engineers, Dr. Dirk Brown and John Williams, working together on chip-level interconnects, realized that many of the system performance bottlenecks were occurring at the packaging and PWB level.

    The pair went to Cornell University to join a company called HCD that was working on novel connector and PWB technologies. HCD's CEO, Professor Che-Yu Li, was a renowned interconnect and packaging expert and had previously mentored Dirk for his Ph.D in materials science at Cornell.

    Dirk ran sales and marketing while John took charge of engineering and manufacturing for HCD, leading to proprietary design wins and licensing deals with some of the largest semiconductor and electronics manufacturers in the industry.

    In early 2003, Dirk and John founded the forerunner of Neoconix, based on an inspiration that merges the worlds of printed circuit fabrication, chemical milling, and connectors.

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