“Noca has acquired machinery for pick-and-place so accurate that it can do smaller form factors than we have yet required,” says Pierre Chênes, Chief System Architect for Wireless Home at Nordic Semiconductor. Chênes is confident that Noca now has capacity for manufacturing even smaller solutions than currently offered.
The form factors Norwegian innovators Nordic Semiconductor require are already small, but they are continually pushing limits for how small electronics can go.
World leading innovator
Nordic Semiconductor has been a driving force for smaller, more flexible and more cost-effective integrated circuits since the early 90s, pioneering production of ultra-low-power radio-enabled integrated circuits, initially a proprietary radio, then open standards like Bluetooth, at high quality. This technology is now found in almost every gadget and electronic aid connected to your PC or smart phone.
Smaller and better
Although Nordic Semiconductor has made small integrated circuits with high quality transmitting for quite some time, smaller and smaller solutions have been continuously developed whilst simultaneously improving wireless performance.
New machinery investment for Noca
Noca has now invested in a brand-new machine for pick-and-place that can handle the extreme complexity of surface mounting at micro-levels. “This investment in new machinery is a direct consequence of Nordic Semiconductor’s need for higher complexity and handling smaller components. Following the needs of leading manufacturers such as Nordic Semiconductor keeps us in front of market trends – what Nordic requires today we know others will require in the future”, says Account Manager Øyvind Pettersen at Noca.
The new machine will solve the challenge facing many manufacturers now and in the near future: When components become tinier and tinier, the margin of error when soldering the even smaller contact points becomes so infinitesimal that very special equipment is needed.
Noca’s move gives Nordic Semiconductor access to machinery of this exact type within 10 minutes of travel from their Trondheim office.
“Nordic Semiconductor is a provider of electronics that is beyond cutting edge – it is always at the forefront of what is technically possible. Noca is proud to provide its services to a partner of such high expertise”, comments Pettersen, Nordic Semiconductor’s contact person at Noca.
In addition to the new pick-and-place machine ASM Siplace SX, Noca has already invested in new machines for quality assurance and inspection. “X-ray technology is needed to verify the quality of work done on such tiny surfaces – and we’ve made sure that we are well equipped for verification as well as production,” Pettersen comments.
Trends in the market
There is no question that the need for very small components is real and in growth. Chênes shares some of Nordic Semiconductor’s thoughts on the future of its market: “The IoT market segment is very fragmented. There are millions of possible applications for connected devices. We consequently believe that it will be natural for us to make products that are easily integrated into every kind of new technology – products that are so advanced that every developer will spend little time and effort to embed our solutions into their own technology. Whether such products end up in tires, fish nets, watches or cars is entirely up to the developer. We will have succeeded in making something that is pre-fabricated for easy integration”, says Chênes.
“The trend towards miniaturization of technology is a fact. It is something that is happening now and will continue into the future, regardless of situation or market – all manufacturers should be equipped for this trend”, concludes Chênes.