MORRISVILLE, N.C., USA, — The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) announces it has been awarded $290,865 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Advanced Manufacturing Technology Roadmap Program (MFGTech). iNEMI is one of seven organizations receiving MFGTech grants totaling $2.08 million to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen U.S. innovation and productivity across entire industry sectors.
iNEMI will focus on a roadmap for advancing the manufacture of leading-edge 5G and 6G products to help accelerate development of the next generation of U.S. wireless networks. The consortium is partnering with several organizations to develop the 5G/6G mmWave Materials and Electrical Test Technology Roadmap (5G/6G MAESTRO).
“Strategic partnerships like the one iNEMI is building with its industry and academic partners are key to ensuring an effective roadmapping effort,” said NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing Director Mike Molnar. “Their work will provide a strategic blueprint for how industry, academia, and government can work together to quickly and cost-effectively develop critical next generation wireless technology throughout the U.S.”
This cross-functional team brings together large and small manufacturers, materials companies, university-based research institutions and consortia to ensure that the roadmap accurately captures technology requirements over the next 10 years and reflects the views of all stakeholders. The public-private partnership will be led by Dr. Urmi Ray, project manager for iNEMI. The 11 project partners are:
- Applied Materials
- Dell Technologies
- Ectron Corporation
- Florida International University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- International Wireless Industry Consortium (IWPC)
- Keysight Technologies
- Mosaic Microsystems
- TechSearch International
“iNEMI is uniquely qualified to lead the development of this 5G/6G roadmap. Since 1994, we have created 14 technology roadmaps, enabling the electronics manufacturing industry to forecast technology shifts and developments over a 10-year horizon and to highlight gaps in capabilities that need to be addressed,” says Shekhar Chandrashekhar, iNEMI CEO. “Having an industry-generated roadmap will enable all stakeholders, from materials suppliers to end users, to focus faster on key gaps and ensure more efficient technology deployment. In the past two years, iNEMI’s 5G/mmWave Materials Assessment and Characterization project team, composed of 26 members from across the electronics value chain, has done significant work to develop guidelines/best practices for standardized measurement and test methodologies for 5G/mmWave frequencies, helping to enable faster evaluation of materials and more successful adoption of new communication technologies. We will expand on this knowledge with the MAESTRO project.”
As 5G moves to 6G technology it is important to address the technical gaps impeding faster and more cost-effective rollout of the next-generation cellular communication infrastructure. The goal of 5G/6G MAESTRO is to create in the U.S. a world-leading knowledge base, technical expertise and a staged approach to mmWave material selection, characterization, and test — the first necessary foundation for leading edge 5G and 6G products. It will focus on the top two gaps in 5G materials development and testing as defined in various industry reports:
- High-speed/ultra-low loss materials – availability, testing and characterization
- Electrical testing and standardization
Work on 5G/6G MAESTRO started with a kick-off meeting in early May and will be completed over an 18-month period.