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26 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2022 Article by Anaya Vardya CEO-AMERICAN STANDARD CIRCUITS Introduction One of the biggest challenges facing PCB designers is not understanding the cost drivers in the PCB manufacturing process. is article is the latest in a series that will discuss these cost drivers (from the PCB manufacturer's perspective) and the design decisions that will impact product reliability. PCB Plating Methods ere are two methods of plating copper on PCBs—pattern plating and panel plating. e panel plating method eliminates most of the copper plating distribution issues, but because it adds copper thickness to the base layer, it makes maintaining fine line definition DFM 101: Plating Methods and consistency difficult. Base copper is mea- sured in ounces of copper per square foot of surface area. Pattern Plate is standard process has major advantages in that only the base copper is required to be etched. is process yields finer, better- defined lines (traces). One possible disadvan- tage is the variations in trace height due to sur- face density (Figure 1). Panel Plate is plating fabrication method eliminates most of the copper plating distribution issues but now the excess surface copper (aer the circuit pattern is defined) must be etched along with the base foil. is makes maintaining fine line definition and consistency difficult. Figure 1.

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