The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-Apr2017

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32 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2017 FEATURE INTERVIEW by Andy Shaughnessy Bruce Mahler, vice president of Ohmega Technologies, sat down for an interview at DesignCon 2017. He discussed the company's latest embedded resistive materials, as well as some of the drivers and challenges in that seg- ment of the materials industry. Andy Shaughnessy: Bruce, why don't you start off by giving us a brief background on Ohmega Tech- nologies. Bruce Mahler: Ohmega Technologies manufac- tures a thin-film resistive material, which is a nickel phosphorous alloy plated onto copper foil. That resistive foil, called OhmegaPly RCM, is laminated to a dielectric like regular copper foil and is then subtractively processed using standard PCB print and etch, to create resistive elements that are either embedded within a multilayer printed circuit board or onto the sur- face of a printed circuit board. We've been do- ing this for more than 40 years now, and we're surprised with the variety of applications that use our technology. Every year it seems that there are new applications, new ways to use the resistive film. So, it's like a constant renewal of the technology in new opportunities, of new growth of the use of embedded resistors within printed circuit boards. Shaughnessy: What are the primary markets that these boards wind up in? Mahler: Good question. One of the primary markets is A&D (aerospace & defense) which we have been supplying our products to for de- cades. It's mostly used in radar systems, control circuits, and in critical operating systems where absolute performance and reliability are essen- tial. The resistive material cannot be affected by temperature extremes, high G-force, vibration, magnetic or cosmic radiation and those kinds of things. The other big market is sensor technologies. We supply our product to the MEMS micro- phone manufacturers. If you have a cellphone, you probably have OhmegaPly within that cell- phone. We're used in the MEMS microphone of cellphones as part of an RC filter to improve the sound fidelity of the microphones; we've been doing that for many years. There's also a growing area of applications and use in sensor

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