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JANUARY 2020 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 43 about 30% efficien- cy, this says 70% of this energy has to be cooled down or transported with a heat pipe system or however you solve that. But if you let it in the display, it heats up. I've seen prod- ucts where you can boil eggs on them once they're switched on. They run up to 80°C or something like that; that is not our goal. Electromechanical design for cooling is the challenge, and getting all that done means interdisciplinary work with me- chanical engineers. All the disciplines are in- volved: electrical, mechanical, electrical safe- ty, etc. And this is most important in the Japa- nese design topology that I am trying to adopt. We have to follow 170 international standards to implement in the product. Reading those 4,500 pages could cost me three months of my life. But now I know what standards you have to follow in each country for a global product. Shaughnessy: Do you have any advice for a PCB designer moving into the LED segment? Beerhalter: Try to light and control one sin- gle LED in a perfect way. Then, the rest of the story is thinking about replication. What will change if two LEDs are on a board? What will change if a quad of LEDs is on the board? How does the visual perception system of the peo- ple work to get the optical quality? In the end, people don't pay for the LED; they pay for the visual experience, and they pay for emotions. Our sales figures are a transfer of emotions, not LEDs. Shaughnessy: And everyone can see what you're doing. You're on display! Beerhalter: Exactly. You cannot imagine the pressure you have when you have an audience of 70,000 people in a football stadium, and your system goes down because you've made Beerhalter: I told one of the colleagues yester- day that the design target is very simple. Design one board, put it into the EMC, get EMI emis- sion measurements, and you should see noth- ing. If you see some signature of the board, you won't have a chance to run that in 2,000 pieces on one screen. We must have the lowest emission possible at a reasonable cost; that is our objective. I try to teach my engineering staff about more expensive and less expensive design decisions because it's very simple. When you have a PCB in your hands, my opinion is it's a result of thousands of decisions the design team makes during the development of this product. We al- ways try to teach my younger engineers that every time they do that, the only component in your design that you have an influence on is the PCB; all others are commercially available parts. As long as you are not a chip manufac- turer, by hobby or by profession, you have no impact on any of the parts; the only part you influence is the PCB, which is important to re- member. Shaughnessy: That's interesting. You're doing this on a whole different scale than everybody else. I bet you had to educate yourself on a lot of this because not many people design boards for what you do. Beerhalter: There may be many designers that try to do that, but a lot less of them do it with the same attitude and objectives. Shaughnessy: One designer I know designs boards for the gaming industry and casinos, and he had to do the LEDs that light up when you win. It was a lot smaller scale, but they had heat problems and things like that. Do you have to deal with heat? Beerhalter: Yes, the biggest problem in our job is the heat system because even LEDs are told to be efficient. When you compare it to classi- cal light bulbs with 3–5% optical efficiency, the LED is around 30%. Normally, for an outdoor display, you need around 800 watts per square meter of electrical energy. And when you think Rainer Beerhalter

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