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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2018 When we started planning this issue, I found an interesting tidbit of information: Electronics packaging predates the printed circuit board. Most electronics history buffs seem to agree that the Braun Tube of 1897, the forerunner of the cathode ray tube, was the first true elec- tronics package. Aren't you glad you don't have to place a glass package on your next board? (But glass may be making a comeback, this time as an interposer in packaging. More on that later.) Over the past 60 years, packages have con- tinued to shrink. The transistor outline "metal cans" of the 1950s would look out of place today. Some packages are no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence, complete with their own "inhalation warning." Now, more types of packages than ever before that can be mounted on today's PCBs. It can be hard to keep this alphabet soup of pack- ages straight: QFN, QFP, SOT, TSSOP, PDIP, WLCSP, BGA, FPBGA, SOIC, PoP, COF, WLP, FOWLP, and a few dozen more, I'm sure. Designers wind up having to deal with these packages, and each package has its own pros and cons. For instance, the BGA is known for its densely packed array of pins, with large BGAs often boasting 3,000 pins, or more. But routing a 3,000-pin BGA can be a mind-numb- ing task for a PCB designer. Luckily for designers, most of today's EDA tools feature some package design capabilities, with package design integrated into the usual PCB layout tool. But the package landscape The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 The Whole Package

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