Panasonic Industry Co., Ltd. announced in June 2022 that it will conduct space exposure experiments of its electronic circuit board materials and underfill for board-level reinforcement. The materials will be launched into space until March 2023 on the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo onboard the International Space Station (ISS) for about six months.
In recent years, the aerospace industry has accelerated the development of space technologies and solutions intending to solve environmental and social issues on Earth, including endeavors such as the full-scale promotion of manned lunar surface activities and efforts to increase services that utilize low-earth-orbit satellites.
These experiments will expose Panasonic's products to space environment and utilize the data obtained for future product development. Such products include MEGTRON series multi-layer circuit board materials and LEXCM series semiconductor device materials, widely used in ICT equipment. This project allows experiments in space (an environment where microgravity, high vacuum, cosmic radiation, and wide-ranging temperature changes occur simultaneously), which are difficult to duplicate on Earth.
Panasonic will provide electronic materials to contribute to businesses relating to the Moon and Mars, which are expected to expand in the future, and technological innovations for high-altitude platform stations (HAPSs). HAPS, short for High-Altitude Platform Station, is the general term for systems that provide communication services over a wide area by mounting communication base stations, such as those for LTE and 5G applications, on unmanned aircraft flying in the stratosphere about 20 km above the ground.
Panasonic’s electronic materials that will be evaluated in more detail:
The MEGTRON brand family of circuit board materials offers the ideal range of performance, reliability, and quality. The products feature a unique dielectric system combined with low-profile copper foil to deliver high-speed/low-loss performance and superior thermal properties. With a lineup widely used in industry-standard products for lead-free, high-layer-count PCBs, it is the perfect solution for networking and other high-performance applications.
The LEXCM brand now comprises all of the Semiconductor Device Materials, IC packaging materials (which includes substrates, encapsulants, and underfills), and electronic assembly materials. The IC substrate materials' brand is also transitioning from MEGTRON GX to LEXCM GX.
With FELIOS, Panasonic developed adhesiveless flexible circuit bord materials that offers superior thermal resistance combined with dimensional stability. The FELIOS have Halogen-free single- or double-sided copper clad that are available in a wide range of film and copper foil thicknesses to support all applications, particularly for mobile products such as smartphones or tablet PCs and medical or avionics applications.
PCB manufacturers in Europe are already relying on Panasonic’s MEGTRON, LEXCM and FELIOS technology, especially in the sectors of aerospace, network communication, automotive as well as the development of wearables.