Developing Advanced Technology for Custom Flexible Circuits
MicroConnex was founded by Thomas Clary and Scott Corbett in 1995 as MicroSound Systems, an R&D company exploring complex new designs and manufacturing methods for ultrasound transducers using laser drilling and micromachining. MicroSound received contracts from DARPA and the US Navy as part of a battlefield imaging emphasis. This initial funding enabled the purchase of our first laser system, the ESI 5100.
Alongside the ultrasound transducer effort, we began developing the technology and expertise to make dense flexible circuits. Grants from the US Army and the National Institutes of Health established us as a leader in innovative interconnect and packaging technology in the medical and defense markets.
From R&D to Flex Circuit and Laser Micromachining
In 2000, we moved to Snoqualmie, Washington and completed a small, private placement investment round. We changed our name to MicroConnex to reflect the shift from R&D services to commercial flexible circuits fabrication and laser micromachining services. We began servicing a broader electronic packaging market, focusing our core competencies around HDI solutions. At roughly the same time, we also acquired and developed thin film sputtering equipment and technology.
Developing Our Core Technologies
Over the next few years, we developed advanced technology for flexible circuits involving proprietary photolithographic patterning, alignment, layer-to-layer registration, and advanced laser-drilling techniques, which allowed us to produce densely patterned substrates. This capability lets us manufacture custom circuits for a wide variety of electronic systems.
Our advances in flex technology and laser micromachining now enable electronic system manufacturers to produce smaller, smarter, and more portable devices. Medical ultrasound is a major market for our flex circuits, and we supply an ever-expanding variety of commercial companies in the medical, semiconductor, consumer, defense, aerospace, and computer industries.
Through our laser micromachining services, we are a significant provider of micro-drilling services for computer chip testing and related industries. Our market position was strengthened by the purchase an ESI 5330 and two ESI 5330HE laser systems, which extend our laser drilling service to semiconductor test companies. Our ESI 5200 has been upgraded to a 5335, giving us a total of 6 ESI laser systems and 3 IPG IX-6100 laser systems that support precision micro hole drilling for semiconductor test along with the vast majority of flex circuit fabrication.
Additional recent CapEx investments include a second Orbotech Laser Direct Imager aka LDI. (Nuvago 10um line, 15um space). 3D Metrology / Inspection / Test tools from Orbotech, Camtek, Polar, Keyence, ATG, Fischer-XRF and View. PVD sputter / thin film systems from KJ Lesker (PVD 75, 200 and 500), Nordson plasma etch, WISE Technologies fine-line automated etching systems along with new larger automation ready tanks for various wet processes.
The current MicroConnex facilities occupies over 21,000 square feet and includes office, laboratory, manufacturing facilities for flex circuit prototyping and production, laser micromachining and direct-write fabrication, and thin film deposition.
MicroConnex Today – Building the Bridge to the Future
On April 1, 2019, MicroConnex was acquired by Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT), a provider of engineered end-to-end, high-performance interconnect solutions for Medical Technology, Test and Measurement, Aerospace, Space, Military and Industrial markets.
MicroConnex now operates as part of CIT’s Medical Technologies Business Unit (CMT), in support of a vision to be the Industry leader in the design, development and vertically-integrated manufacturing of advanced medical device solutions backed by world-class quality and customer support. Bringing the two together gives our customers access to more innovative, integrated, and optimized product solutions, at a greater scale, with the improved quick-turn response and quality of service.