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Semi-Additive Process Technology at Averatek

Judy Warner
|  Created: February 26, 2019  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

In today’s OnTrack Podcast Judy talks to Mike Vinson, the COO of Averatek about their breakthrough innovation in which they use a semi-additive process incorporating a liquid metal ink as the catalyst seed layer. This special catalytic precursor “ink” can be imaged to create the patterns or areas where conducting metal is to be deposited. This ink controls the horizontal dimensions of line width and spacing and creates the ability to get down to 1 mm and sub-1 mm line and traces. Keep an eye on this technology!

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Show Highlights:

  • Mike’s background is in semiconductors primarily in the area of interconnects.
  • At Averatek they create HDI solutions.
  • What does Averatek’s technology enable engineers and product developers to realize? Lower layer count, Improve Yield, Cost reduction and High Value
  • What is Semi-Additive Process Technology? Fundamentally the ink carries plating onto the surface of the substrate, depositing them in very thin layers.
  • Also called atomic layer deposition - Averatek calls it lipid metal ink.
  • Process allows for very precise and very small circuits.
  • Learn the jargon: SAP (Semi-Additive Process).
  • Copper can be left undisturbed by the etching process.
  • Can be run in a traditional board shop - new technologies are emerging.
  • Lithography capital equipment is indeed a worthwhile investment.
  • Liquid Metal Ink where are you in getting this to market? Strategy is to license and sell liquid metal ink.
  • What type of design considerations will EDA tools need to build-in to enable design with this technology? Smaller lands and increased density.
  • Evolution: Lines & Spaces first then other areas.
  • Thieving areas parameters will change.
  • This tech will work for both flex, rigid-flex, and rigid circuits.

Links and Resources:

Averatek website


Preview to Apex - this was both Mina and SAP and mSAP focused

Additive Electronics  PCB Scale to IC Scale

Flex Circuit Firsts - mentioned Averatek

E-textiles - wild frontier

Medical research is Golden - additive process and gold conductors

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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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