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56 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 smoother copper for better signal integrity per- formance. Johnson: And the trade-offs in soldering and adhesion that go along with that. Parent: Everything has its trade-offs, but in our case, Oak-Mitsui is working with the lamina- tors, and they have some very good proprie- tary processes to make sure that those trade- offs are meeting the expectations of IPC and OEMs. But even with help from IPC and UL, it's a lot to keep up with, but we have resourc- es to help; that's one of the key things that dis- tinguishes Insulectro from the pack. For those looking for materials choices, we can match up Isola laminates together with DuPont Pyral- ux® laminates along with copper foils to create the best solution to a particular demand in the marketplace. We're very fortunate to get the ear of designers and people that are challenged for the next level of performance in their mate- rial choices. Johnson: It seems to be time for designers to start thinking about the substrate as an active, performing part of the design. And you really need to think about the board as if it is an ac- tive component in your overall assembly. Parent: Yes, that's true in a lot of ways. There's electrical and thermal performance to con- sider as well as other requirements like flex- ibility, fitting into a particular box, or build- ing a 32-layer board with minimal thickness. There are all sorts of mechanical, electrical, and thermal criteria required by these boards today. Evolving technology in electronics is stretching the limits of some of process capa - bilities. I am amazed at what PCB shops are able to do today, including the small holes they're drilling, the number of layers they're doing, how well they're registering them, and the fact that now 3-mil lines and spaces are a daily occurrence in many shops. OEMs are requir- ing sub-50-micron lines and spaces on cer- tain high-density jobs. All of those examples are challenging our fabricator customers, and therefore, our materials. Johnson: With all of this new work going on in materials, there's a spectrum of materials appropriate for a particular design. Historical- ly, it was standard FR-4m and you would go to some sort of high-end material; those were your two choices. But now, there is a range of products in the middle, and the ultimate specifier for materials is the design. How do we educate designers to make better decisions so that they're not under-specifying nor over- specifying their substrate? Parent: That's a great question. It's an ongo- ing challenge, and we're looking for ways to become a better solution provider on that front as well. We're a little premature to talk about it today, but we are about to announce that Insulectro is going to be getting a lot closer to the PCBs design houses by providing design services to our fabricator customers that don't currently have that as an offering. We've re- cently promoted one of our top Field Applica- tion Engineers Megan Teta to be product man- ager for these new design services. There are a few circuit board shops that have a relationship with design houses today, and they do get involved with early design choices, including material selection, layer count, lines and spaces, hole sizes, etc. We have hired an- other resource who will be starting in May to drive our design services program to a signif- icantly higher level within our business. We are anticipating having a relationship with as many as 100+ designers in the next 3–5 years where they'll be using tools from Insulectro to We're very fortunate to get the ear of designers and people that are challenged for the next level of performance in their material choices.

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