PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Jun2017

Issue link: http://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/834021

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 68 of 103

June 2017 • The PCB Magazine 69 Holden: The Japanese are still working on this. What are the Japanese doing on embedded com- ponents? I firmly believe their big focus is min- iaturization of everything; they certainly have more examples of miniaturization than we do. Their mobile phones are smaller than ours are, and they always try to make the lightest ones they can get by with or the thinnest ones they can get by with. Brandler: I agree with you on that 100%. We're working with some Japanese companies who are doing their manufacturing in Malaysia with their automatic lines and so we have to sup- ply rolls instead of sheets, which is our prefer- ence—laminated sheets. We also supply rolls for the Japanese companies. There is something going on but they have their own technology and they do exquisite work. There's no question about it. They're top notch. Stephen Las Marias: I've been hearing the chal- lenges are in the design and the fabrication of the boards with these embedded components, but do you see any relevant challenges when it comes to the PCB assembly side? Brandler: Normally our thinking is that, by em- bedding all components, we make assembly easier by limiting the number of solder joints. The only thing I've really heard that seems to be bothering them is in-circuit testing. Because if you're starting to embed actives, now you're do- ing in-circuit tests on essentially a bare board, and since the board is not fully populated, you often cannot do a complete in-circuit test and so maybe you're just testing for continuity and that all the connections are right. Normally with embedded passive resistors you're not only testing for shorts and opens at the bare board level, you're testing for the value of the resis- tors. But now with actives, the testing at the bare board level becomes a lot more compli- cated, because as Happy said, you don't want to get to the point where you've populated the board with all these expensive semiconductors and then find out that some of the embedded ones are no good. That's the only assembly is- sue that I've heard that they seem to be con- cerned about. Herrera: I just want to make one other com- ment about opportunities for North America. Going back to this whole modular design thing and the idea of deploying sensors, whether they be for industrial applications or even in homes, these low-power energy-harvesting commu- nicating sensors I believe are a great opportu- nity for North America. I think we'll see that here more so than in other parts of the world, at least I'm hoping. Like the idea of deploying these sensors everywhere and again it goes back to the modular design. I think that's an oppor- tunity that people here in the States should be looking at if they're not already. Brandler: Yes, sensors. When we talk about au- tonomous cars, all these autonomous cars are driven by sensors and loaded with sensors. The question is how many ports are they going to have and how vulnerable they'll be to hacking, and so forth. But tons of sensors, and who's go- ing to build them, I don't know but they're go- ing to require them. You're going to have tires that take control in a skid or something. You know there'll be all kinds of things going on. Matties: It's definitely a world of sensors and measurements now, isn't it? Holden: My son's an electrician and I encour- aged him to go back to school and become spe- cialized in electronics and other forms of ener- gy because I told him that in a few years, homes and businesses won't use electricians anymore because every switch and every bulb will have a sensor in it. You just mount it and plug it into a local area network and it doesn't require a li- censed electrician anymore because it will all be done in the module in terms of what turns on and what turns off, etc. So because of this cost of labor and the cost of an electrician ver- sus the cost of an untrained, unskilled person putting together house wiring, he needs to bol- ster up and move up in the terms of technolo- gy of electricians and to control wiring and spe- cialized things. Since I came from the automotive electron- ics in my last job, the cars just have a local area network and every light bulb and turn signal and brake pedal has a sensor on it. There's no A DEEP LOOK INTO EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGY

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB-Jun2017