PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jun2017

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22 The PCB Magazine • June 2017 Manuel Herrera OHMEGA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Summary There has been a growing adoption of NiP thin film resistors as heater elements from a diverse group of users including those in the aerospace, defense, high-end comput- ing and the volume consumer electronics market. This has included interest and use from those responsible for validation and re- liability testing. A novel application has now grown from the validation and reliability testing perspective. Using embedded resistors as heaters to do high-temperature or burn- in testing eliminating the need for thermal chambers. Introduction The idea of using embedded resistors as heaters in PCBs is not new. In the past embed- ded resistors as heaters have been used to raise the temperature of critical components on PCBs to optimum operating levels. A couple of exam- ples include the semi-active laser (SAL) board in guided munitions and an X-ray spectrometer board in the ESA Mars Beagle II Lander [1] . Another recent space application required the melting of plastic fasteners. The plastic fas- teners were used to secure folded solar panels during launch then deploy when the unit was in orbit. An embedded heater solution was de- signed to conform to the physical space, pow- er and reliability metrics specified and selected based on its performance. FEATURE Figure 1: X-ray spectrometer board. (Image courtesy of the University of Leicester Space Research Centre and the Beagle2 Consortium.)

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