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8 The PCB Magazine • April 2017 I wonder: Do we really need more speed in our connections? When will we hit that pro- verbial wall everyone worries about? Of course, if we want things like autonomous cars, intel- ligent robotics, and extended IoT, then we will continue to press forward—or rather you, the PCB manufacturer, designer, and supplier of high-speed materials will keep at it. As is our wont here at I-Connect007, we felt a strong need to survey you, our readers, on this subject. In our most recent survey for this month's topic, high speed materials, we asked several questions—some open-ended, some not—to gain a better understanding of what is really happening out there. The answers we received did not boil down to a simple two or three issues. So let's discuss further. The first thing we asked was (our favorite ques- tion): What are your greatest challenges when working with high-speed materials? It was like opening a Pandora's box. Answers ranged from materials adhesion to bendability and thickness; from drilling and other processing to sourcing, price, and lead times; from impedance control and accurate testing to educating the customer. Sounds like this is not an easy arena to play in and when you read the discussions we had with fabricators, you will see that is indeed so. Next, we asked the percentage of orders where the material is pre-specified by the OEM; the response was overwhelmingly on the high end with 60% of respondents putting the level above 50% (and a few claimed it to be near 100%). We asked a couple of questions on growth of this market, which may explain why so many are working with the high-speed materials and building these difficult boards (Figures 1 and 2). by Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 Faster, Faster, Faster… or the Need for Speed, More Speed! PATTY'S PERSPECTIVE Figure 1.

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