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Summary form only given. Currently the vast majority of adhesive materials in electronic products are bonded using convection heating or infra-red as well as UV-curing. These thermal processing steps can take several hours to perform, slowing throughput and contributing a significant portion of the cost of manufacturing. With the demand for lighter, faster, and smaller electronic devices, there is a need for innovative material processing techniques and control methodologies. The increasing demand for smaller and cheaper devices pose engineering challenges in designing a curing systems that minimize the time required between the curing of devices in a production line, allowing access to the components during curing for alignment and testing. Microwave radiation exhibits several favorable characteristics and over the past few years has attracted increased academic and industrial attention as an alternative solution to curing of flip-chip underfills, bumps, glob top and potting cure, structural bonding, die attach, wafer processing, opto-electronics assembly as well as RF-ID tag bonding. Microwave energy fundamentally accelerates the cure kinetics of polymer adhesives. It provides a route to focus heat into the polymer materials penetrating the substrates that typically remain transparent. Therefore microwave energy can be used to minimise the temperature increase in the surrounding materials. The short path between the energy source and the cured material ensures a rapid heating rate and an overall low thermal budget. In this keynote talk, we will review the principles of microwave curing of materials for high density packing. Emphasis will be placed on recent advances within ongoing research in the UK on the realization of "open-oven" cavities, tailored to address existing challenges. Open-ovens do not require positioning of the device into the cavity through a movable door, hence being more suitable for fully automated processing. Further potential advantages of op- - en-oven curing include the possibility for simultaneous fine placement and curing of the device into a larger assembly. These capabilities promise productivity gains by combining assembly, placement and bonding into a single processing step. Moreover, the proposed design allows for selective heating within a large substrate, which can be useful particularly when the latter includes parts sensitive to increased temperatures.