Design007 Magazine

Design007-Aug2022

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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 e supply chain issues plaguing our indus- try don't seem to be going away any time soon. Like an annoying mother-in-law, they've moved into our guest room, rearranged the furniture, and generally overstayed their wel- come. Why don't they take a hint? We're seeing all sor ts of interesting tactics for dealing with 50-week lead times. One of the most basic concepts I've heard lately is material con- servation—when it's hard to get the parts you need, why not just design PCBs with fewer parts? Materi- als typically make up 20% of the cost of the board, so we're not talking nickels and dimes. It seems like a simple idea: Just design boards with fewer components and less laminate. Do you really need all those decoupling capaci- tors? And, as Happy Holden points out in this issue, there's no real reason that most boards are still 0.062" thick. ey were originally that thick because they had to plug into mother- boards, but why are boards in our handheld devices still that same thickness? It's because we've always done it that way. Maybe it's time to consider something different. I t 's j u s t c o m m o n sense. If the industry designed boards with fewer parts and less laminate, the savings could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Thinner PCBs w ith f e w e r c o m p o n e n t s could mean improved signal integr ity, but there are a lot of trade- offs to investigate. Obviously, this would change everything. Designers are accustomed to craing PCBs a certain way. It would require looking at design in a completely new way. Are we ready? Judg- ing from the prognostications of the supply The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Designing for Material Conservation

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