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50 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Feature Article by Jan Pedersen NCAB ELMATICA Some of us who have been around for a while have observed how PCB technology has devel- oped through the past 40–50 years. Compared with the development of technology in the packaging or computer industry, PCB technol- ogy has moved quite slowly. Was It Better in the '70s? Back in the 1970s, right aer I finished school, I was working close to Oslo in a PCB plant for single-sided PCBs. I saw how other factories started to produce two-layer plated-through- holes and soon multilayer PCBs. Visionaries and trendsetters at that time claimed single- sided PCBs would reach end of life 10–15 years later. Well, it's now four-plus decades later and they are still in the market. Production technology has improved and developed through the years. At some point, we crossed some limits for traditional plat- ing, drilling, and imaging methods. In the past 20 years, we have seen how the chemical pro- cesses have developed to enable very small holes in the same PCB thickness; drilling is not just drilling any more, and imaging is mov- ing away from screen printing and even leaving films behind. What Is Happening With PCB Miniaturization? Still, we do use copper base layers, holes to connect, and solder to attach components. My focus in this article is mainly my own observa- tions of the PCB miniaturization levels we see today. I hope I am not stepping on too many toes. As recently as three to four years ago, a res- olution of 60–75 micron was the general capa- What is Impacting and Challenging PCB Technology in Europe?

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