PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Feb2017

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38 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 you would image how you wanted the heat to be dissipated onto the circuit board. Then you would coat your solder mask over it so a lot of our customers thought that was a great idea, but you just added cost to the process because now you've created an extra layer to the circuit board. We went back, thought about it more and said, "Well, let's try to put that tech- nology into the solder mask itself, eliminating that layer and just create a solder mask that is just a heat spreader in itself." That's what we are introducing now. We've taken it to some of the OEMs in the automotive and LED markets first because those are the areas that really must deal with the thermal manage- ment issue initially. We're getting some positive feedback, so we have this new heat spreader- type material. It comes in a thermal-cure solder mask as well as a photo-imageable type solder mask. We've got two varieties that service the whole industry. Like I said, we're looking first at the automotive and LED markets to see their interest and there's quite a bit of interest there. Matties: I would think so. How effective is it at dis- sipating the heat? Fix: It's about 10 times that of a standard solder mask. The material we have as a photo-image- able does about 2 watts per meter-kelvin. It's quite a level of improvement over a standard solder mask. We found some special type fill- ers that help dissipate that heat. We also found certain ways to design the circuit board and enhance how the heat is dissipated—so we can work with the designers as well as the circuit board manufacturers to give them those keys on how to make the product work even better. Matties: Is there a new standard that will be de- veloped around a product like this, and is this the only type of product of its kind on the market? Fix: Right now, for solder masks, it's the only kind. A standard, that's an interesting concept; we haven't really thought much about design- ing a standard around it. Matties: Seems like it would make sense, right? From your point of view. Fix: Yeah, absolutely. Matties: How long was the design or the develop- ment cycle timeline? Fix: We've been working on thermal manage- ment products for about five to seven years. Our first iteration, like I said, was a product that was a standalone, and then we had to modify it to turn it into a solder mask. That product came out years ago, and it took us three or four years to turn it into a solder mask. Matties: You're doing all of your R&D at your fa- cility in Carson City? Fix: Actually, the heat spreader was designed and developed in Japan. A lot of our new type tech- nology comes out of Japan. Most of the work that's done in Carson City is more for local mar- kets, so the DI work that we were mentioning earlier was done in our Carson City lab. That's where we've gotten some equipment from, for instance, Schmoll. They were kind enough to THE POWER OF THREE : TAIYO'S JOHN FIX ON NEW MATERIALS, PRODUCTS IN THE WORKS John Fix

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