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PCBD-Dec2017

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December 2017 • The PCB Design Magazine 41 or something like that, military applications are generally not high technology in material terms, in the same way as some of the new stuff we're doing in cars. But cars encompass every- thing, don't they? They've already built auton- omous driving, communication, information, etc. and collision avoidance with microwave materials, all this kind of stuff. It's all in there, so it's a very, very interesting business. Goldman: All the industries meld together in your automobile, don't they? Europe is the hot- bed for all of that. Goodwin: Certainly, in terms of OEMs. But man- ufacturing globally, Europe and Japan I think drove the LED front-lighting in cars. I mean, it's only been what, 18 months or two years since the United States approved high-powered LED lighting for front-lighting on cars? There's catch- up there, and the U.S. can be a huge market as well, but where do these products get made? Probably, frankly speaking, in Asia, because the volume is so high. There's a lot of machining. That's the thing with metal-back boards. It's not particularly high technology in terms of circuit board manufacturing, but a lot of mechanical processing, drilling, routing, punching, with aluminum, which is not an easy job. Goldman: Of course, it's always the prototypes here and the volume there. Goodwin: Yeah. Prototypes, pre-production, and ramp-up series, but the volume will be in Asia. We do a lot of OEM work all over the world and we see the boards. Where we do the sales activity is often different to where we in- voice or deliver the goods, because increasingly they're unrelated. We have to do the sales activ- ity wherever we do it and the boards are made wherever. There is no U.S. market, European market, China market. There's just a global market now for these things. Goldman: What do you see coming down the pike? What do you see next? Goodwin: Well, we have still a lot of things to do with thermal management, so this is just those boards as well and do it all on one board, and then we're going to have to interface them with something. Over here, there's a heat dis- sipation issue. Over there, it's standard material, or even an SI material, so this is now one of our reasons for developing the thin cores and pre- pregs. They're compatible with all our other ma- terials. If you want to start putting these things together you can start doing that. One of the other things that's going to hap- pen in the automotive business is in the use of aluminum and copper: They use copper in some applications, but copper is heavy and ex- pensive compared to aluminum. Aluminum is going to become a structural part of the design as well. We're seeing a lot of thick aluminum on these projects. Then you might want to mount your logic board on top of that directly without pillars and screws. It's a single process, so all this sort of thing is coming. We see designs already. Goldman: The automotive industry is always very conscious of weight and always looking to remove as much as possible. They'll fight to re- duce ounces. Goodwin: Yes. One mil of copper and one mil of aluminum is a very different story. And when they're putting all these batteries in, they've got to get the weight out somewhere else. Goldman: All the batteries with the lead in them! One day, people will wake up to that. So, automotive seems to be driving the industry. It used to be military that seemed to be driving the industry. Goodwin: Right, we see less drivers from mili- tary. We see drivers from commercial aerospace more than military aerospace now. In fact, in some ways, military is stuck 20 years in the past. They're extremely conservative with materials, extremely conservative with change. Goldman: And I think automotive was like that, but they're really being pushed. Goodwin: They've been pushed in two direc- tions: cost and technology. And to be honest, unless you're talking about real high-end radar THAT'S HOT: VENTEC'S GOODWIN ON THERMAL MANAGEMENT

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