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Design007-Oct2022

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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2022 I oen reflect on the formative years of my PCB design career when a senior design engi- neer gave me some sound advice: "Kelly, never design anything that can't be built." I think of his words every time I begin laying out a board and while I'm reviewing and performing DFM audits on customer PCB designs which are being transitioned to volume production. e process of design shapes an idea into a readily producible, physical prototype which can be evaluated for functionality and perfor- mance. With regard to "build-ability," these days, once a prototype materializes, we are challenged differently than when I began designing boards back in the 1980s. Since then, our manufacturing industry capabilities have scaled seemingly by pow- ers of 10—in macro and micro directions—in their ability to process materials. Capability to process heavy copper onto power circuit sub- strates in thicknesses greater than 20 ounces is available using advanced print, etch, and elec- troplating processes. In the micro direction of scale, laser processing has enabled us to shrink many PCB features. Take via processing, for instance. We've gone from large, clunky, plated through-holes to elegantly formed HDI (high-density interconnect) microvias. Laser direct imaging (LDI) technology has allowed processing of smaller scale design topology to match the requirements of ever-shrinking electrical parts. More than ever, but not with- out time and significant investment, PCB manufacturing stakeholders have been able to respond to the requirements put forward by PCB design and engineering stakeholders to shrink process capability if a tangible applica- tion and corresponding justification exists. Scaling PCB Design to the Power of 10 Target Condition Feature Column by Kelly Dack, CIT, CID+

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