PCB007 Magazine


Issue link: https://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/1269815

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 115

40 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Not to date myself, but back in those days a design with a 125-micron (5-mil) line and space on flex or rigid materials was pushing technology limits. Today, PCB fabricators are manufacturing designs with 25-micron (1-mil) line and space. In fact, most of us are using smartphones with PCBs with 30-micron trace and space. These extremely high-volume, com- mercial designs are produced using mSAP or modified semi-additive technology. This pro- cess starts with a very thin layer of copper foil and uses an additive rather than a subtractive chemistry process to create the circuit pattern. Fabricators offering mSAP technology typically serve very high-volume requirements, and the process requires significant capital investment. Market dynamics in the electronics indus- try are quickly changing. Today, it is not only high-volume applications that are being driv- en to the need for 25-micron trace and space. Additive and Subtractive: When Opposites Attract The majority of my career has been spent working in the PCB industry. Like many, I landed here "by accident." Fresh out of col- lege with a brand-new economics degree, I was looking for a position in finance and was offered a position in accounting and human re- sources in a small flexible circuit manufactur- ing company. Honestly, I did not even know what a flex circuit was, so they were truly tak- ing a risk with me. My initial training there was not in accounting; it was in manufactur- ing, spending time working on the product, and learning the processes so that I would be better able to understand what I was doing when I did start working in accounting. The manufacturing processes I learned during that time were the traditional subtractive etch pro- cesses, essentially starting with copper lami- nate and etching away the unwanted copper to create the designed circuit pattern. Flex Talk Feature Column by Tara Dunn, OMNI PCB

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB007-July2020