John W. Balde

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During his almost 40-year tenure at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric Company in both the Princeton, New Jersey and Winston-Salem, North Carolina facilities, John W. (Jack) Balde contributed significantly in the areas of tantalum film hybrids, under carpet cable technology, and the introduction of advanced interconnect technology to the Bell System. Under carpet cable technology later became a major product line for Thomas & Betts Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee.

A pioneering promoter of industry synergy, Mr. Balde spearheaded the globalization of multichip module (MCM) and advanced interconnect technology, most notably through founding the Denver MCM Conference in 1990, his Advanced Technology Workshops for the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS), his leadership of the IEEE Computer and the IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Societies’ joint Technical Committee on Systems Packaging (TCCP), and numerous publications. As surface mount technology began to emerge, Mr. Balde initiated a multi-company task group effort that was instrumental in the adoption of compliant lead packaging. His work with regard to non-hermetic packaged semiconductor devices resulted in the “use COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) not custom parts” drives by the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy; cost savings at Sandia National Laboratories alone are estimated at $1 million per year.

Born on 4 March 1923 in Brooklyn, New York, John W. Balde earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1943. He joined Western Electric in 1943 and served as research leader at Bell Laboratories and Western Electric from 1946 to 1980. In 1981, he founded Interconnection Decision Consulting in Flemington, New Jersey, where he was a senior consultant at the time of his passing on 8 September 2003.

An IEEE Life Fellow and a Fellow and Life Member of IMAPS, Mr. Balde wrote 130 technical articles, published a number of IEEE and IMAPS books--including the IEEE bestseller Multichip Modules--and held 16 patents. His awards include the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the International Packaging Consortium’s President’s Award, the IMAPS Hughes Award for excellence in electronic packaging and the IMAPS/IEEE Founders joint award for establishing the Denver MCM Conference. Mr. Balde was the chairman of several task forces on chip carriers and corrosion protection of silicon circuits. During his tenure on the TCCP, he led the establishment of international workshops that remain a cornerstone of both the IEEE Computer and IEEE CPMT Societies’ technical activities.

Further Reading

Jack Balde Oral History