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PCBD-June2017

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10 The PCB Design Magazine • June 2017 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 18 years. He can be reached by clicking here. dollars to embed discretes that are worth pen- nies?" Embedded technology offers a variety of ad- vantages compared to traditional component placement. It's a fairly simple idea: Take some of these pesky components off the top of the board and embed them in the inner layers of the PCB. This frees up real estate and eliminates solder joints, which are responsible for so many of the failures in the field. Embedding can also reduce resistance and parasitic inductance, which can lower EMI and improve signal integrity, all of which are positive things for PCB designers. These are all good, except for the added cost, which I imagine has a lot to do with the fact that embedded technology is still in its growth stage. Everyone—even the military—is watch- ing costs these days. So, for this issue, we asked some of the top embedded experts to share their knowledge. We started off with a free-flowing conversation with Dan Brandler and Manuel Herrera of Ohmega Technology, along with our own Contributing Editor Happy Holden. In our first feature article, these gentlemen cover the history of embedded processes, their advantages and disadvantages, their benefits for PCB designers, and the future of this intriguing technology. Our second feature is an interview with Scott McCurdy, director of sales and marketing for Freedom CAD. Scott discusses various types of embedded technology, including buried ca- pacitance, planar magnetic boards, and compo- nents placed inside cavities in the board. Next, our columnist Vern Solberg takes us through the current state of embedding resistors, capacitors, and inductors, and some of the roadblocks that embedded technologists must contend with. Fi- nally, Dora Yang, and engineer with PCBCart, discusses the design and fabrication process for embedded thin-film resistors, and their numer- ous applications. We also bring you columns by our regular contributors Barry Olney of In-Circuit Design, John Coonrod of Rogers Corporation, Dave Becker of All Flex, and Alistair Little of Electro- lube. Now that summer is officially here, why not download The PCB Design Magazine to read on the beach? If you're not already a subscriber, click here to get the PCB design party started! PCBDESIGN EMBEDDED TECHNOLOGY: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME For cell phones, computers, and other electron- ic devices, a major shortcoming is the generation of heat. The energy loss significantly reduces the device efficiency. Spintronics' promise is to eliminate this en- ergy loss. It does so by just moving the electron spin without moving the electrons. Using design strategies such as those identified by this research could result in highly energy-efficient spintronics to replace today's electronics. An important obstacle to realizing spintronics is the amplification of small spin signals. In con- ventional electronics, amplification of an electron current is achieved using transistors. Recently, researchers at Johns Hopkins Univer- sity demonstrated that small spin currents can be amplified by inserting thin films of antiferromag- netic insulator materials into the layered structures, effectively producing a spin-transistor. Scientists used thin films of antiferromagnetic insulators, such as nickel and cobalt oxide, sandwiched be- tween ferrimagnetic insulator yttrium iron garnet (YIG) and normal metal films. With such devices, they showed that the pure spin current thermally injected from YIG into the metal can be amplified up to ten-fold by the antiferromagnetic insulator film. The researchers found that spin fluctuation of the antiferromagnetic insulating layer enhances the spin current. They also found that the amplifi- cation is linearly proportional to spin mixing con- ductance of the normal metal and the YIG. Amazing Spintronics

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