PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jun2017

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52 The PCB Magazine • June 2017 by Barry Matties and Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 In preparation for this month's magazine, we set up a conference call with the goal of un- covering the challenges and opportunities re- lated to embedded technology. Invited were a handful of the industry's heavy hitters in the embedded world: Retired technologist and I- Connect007 Contributing Editor Happy Hold- en, and Ohmega's Technical Director Daniel Brandler and Design & Test Engineer Manuel Herrera. This informative, comprehensive dis- cussion focuses on the state of embedded ma- terials and components, today and into the fu- ture, as well as a variety of promising processes. Patty Goldman: Gentlemen, thanks for join- ing us. Some of the things we want to learn are: What's going on? What's the latest? Additional- ly, what are some of the things that you think that your customers want to know? Dan, Ohmega Technology has been doing embedded components for over 30 years. Can you provide an overview of that work? Dan Brandler: Ohmega Technology primarily makes materials used in embedding resistors, planar resistors, even surface resistors under the solder mask, but mostly it's a multilayer struc- ture. We electrically deposit a nickel-phospho- rous alloy, which is the resistor material. It's been around since World War II, so it's a very well established material. We electrically depos- it on standard ED copper foil of different lev- els of roughness, which will be discussed later in the conversation, and we supply that mate- rial to either laminators for PCB or microwave applications or to board shops who make their own laminate and PCBs with the embedded re- sistors. In some cases, we subcontract laminates out to companies. But our primary business is just applying the resistive copper foil and we've been doing that for a long time. We're not the only ones doing it; there are other alloys out there like Nichrome, but we're the oldest. About 30−40% of our business is aerospace defense, things like power dividers, microwave applications for satellites, phased array anten- nas, and microwave absorbers. That didn't used to be the case, but the majority now for com- mercial use is mainly for sensor technology, par- ticularly in cell phones. I would guess almost all of you or at least certainly half of you I'm speak- ing to right now will probably have cellphones with you with our resistors in it. Our resistor material is in the largest American cellphone manufacturer's products. I'm not supposed to A DEEP LOOK INTO EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGY FEATURE INTERVIEW

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