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16 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 Wearable technology is another forerunner. SAP and mSAP enables thinner, lighter weight, more flexible circuity—all attributes catering to the wearable technology market. Averatek's ALD ink enables printing cir- cuit patterns directly on rounded or unusual- ly shaped structures, including 3D products, the curved end of a catheter and others that the traditional subtractive etch processes have not been able to serve. This ALD ink has also found success in the emerging e-textiles mar- ket. Applying the ALD ink to various fabrics and plating with electroless copper results in conductive material that can then be integrat- ed in e-textiles applications (Figure 3). Both these application areas enable design devel- opment in growing markets not traditionally served by PCB fabricators. Recapping, SAP, mSAP and SLP is a pro- cess that is currently serving the highly visible, high-volume, smartphone market. The PCB in- dustry world-wide is taking notice and look- ing for other opportunities to implement this technology in designs with requirements for thin copper, sub 25-micron line and space and complex HDI designs. This is a new technol- ogy pushing fabricators to look at equipment and processes to determine how to adapt from a subtractive process to an additive process. This technology also pushes designers to look at printed circuits in a new way and provides a new tool to solve complex design issues. I believe pushing us outside of our comfort zone is a good thing, even though it is diffi- cult, and the resulting additional technical ca- pabilities will propel us forward to solve the incr easingly sophisticated electronics require- ments. Watch for information from SMTA re- garding a new conference in 2019, "Additive Electr onics: IC Scale to PCB Scale," which in- tends to address the gap between tradition- al subtractive etch processing and mSAP and S AP technology. PCB007 Tara Dunn is the president of Omni PCB, a manufacturer's rep firm specializing in the printed circuit board industry. To read past columns or to contact Dunn, click here. Figure 3: Averatek's ALD provides design opportunities with other materials. (Source: Averatek)

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