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DECEMBER 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 83 what's going to evolve once all of the develop- ment, research, and testing are looked at. This appeared to us—as people who have been in the industry for a while—to be something that could be a significant advantage to a particu - lar manufacturer or a group of manufacturers. I'm speaking of OEMs predominantly, but I'm not sure exactly who would find their way into this marketplace. I think it would present a very large advantage to anyone when com - pared to something that was simple and not very involved like varied capacitance, which ended up being a very profitable thing for a company that was involved with it. So, that's the thumbnail sketch in terms of the develop - ment. Andy Shaughnessy: That's great. Reducing edge noise is a big challenge, and it's always one of the topics at DesignCon. Greg Lucas: Yes, of the people I've talked to, that's their main interest as well. Howard: It's an interesting area because every one of the boards we're talking about has a certain distance between the planes. Each one of those distances dictates a set of frequencies that will be emanated in a resonant fashion from the edge of those planes, and it's just a law of physics. Nobody is going to avoid it. Lucas: This also increases voltage switching speed, so maybe it's that for some people. Shaughnessy: Jim, you worked with the ZBC process, and fractals seem to be in a similar ballpark. Howard: We believe that's one of the bases of this technology. I didn't talk about it, but all of the testing that we did found these unusual and very useful results when done on thin distributed-capacitance layers of the types that we developed in the 1990s. Shaughnessy: The accompanying article really explains what fractals are. I didn't realize that they're basically shapes selected by nature. Howard: You contain quite a number of fractals yourself. Your blood vessels, lungs, and brain neurons are all part of the fractal universe, and I'm quite amazed by what nature did with it before anybody caught on. It's a fascinating thing when you look at the shape of space. We don't get into these discussions with normal printed circuit folks, but when you look at the scientifically accepted dimensions of space and electromagnetic forces and the way that Max - well explains those, it's fascinating. People with far better credentials than I do in this area have done enough work to determine that without those additional dimensions—such as gravity and electromagnetism—the weak and strong forces couldn't work the way we see it work. And from that, even though it's not changing the basic structure of the PCB, there probably would have to be some work done to ensure that the reliability was within the structure of whatever they're certified to, and then they can take it into a market usage. Big companies could skip some of those steps, but they don't. They don't for very good reasons, and I under- stand the reasoning behind it. That was sort of the process that Unisys took varied capaci- tance through before we started shipping it to them for use in real products. Lucas: Yes. The real cost of doing this is simply going back to CAD, adding the fractals to the power and ground plane, and testing it; that's the cost they're looking at. Howard: If you were to compute what we know to be the cost today, forgetting about any test- ing that has to be done as pre-production test- ing, yeah, that's basically it. Lucas: It's almost costless. Howard: Right. If you know you have the appropriate design that you can do this with and you add these specific elements to the designs on the power and ground layers, you get this effect; you don't have to do anything else. Now, I'm not saying the etching is going to be easy because when we get down to very small kinds of etching, that's when we have

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