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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 same documentation. Without bend areas, it is not possible to determine fracture potential. In addition, the actual content of some spe- cial layer types is oen absent. On a solder mask Gerber output, where there is to be mask, there is a void (or shape) on a layer dependent on polarity of the file. A coverlay (layer) is like a solder mask and should visually be the same. In our experience, the coverlay is defined as an empty layer in intelligent files exported from PCB CAD tools. Stackup zones are critical to getting an accu- rate DFM analysis in rigid-flex designs. Stackup zones delineate the boundary of each different stackup in a rigid-flex design. An example is an area where only flex layers are present between sections of rigid-flex. Currently, stackup zone definition and export is exclusive to a short list of PCB design tools. Most DFM analysis tools available today start with translated or converted design data. e native PCB CAD design is converted to Gerber, ODB++, IPC-2581, or other data for- mats and imported into OEM or third-party analysis tools. More effort should be taken to enhance the conversion (or export) tools to enable a fully intelligent DFM analysis for flex and rigid-flex designs. e limited support for the intelligent formats is currently an impediment to fully assessing DFM for flex and rigid-flex. DESIGN007 Mark Gallant is a senior product marketing manager for Down- Stream Technologies, and author of The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... Documentation. Lead author Yurii Victorovich Kovtun, despite being forced to evacuate the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology amid the current Russia- Ukraine war, has continued to work with Kyoto Uni- versity to create stable plasmas using microwaves. Plasmas—soups of ions and electrons—must be held at the right density, temperature, and duration for atomic nuclei to fuse together to achieve the desired release of energy. One recipe involves the use of large, donut- shaped devices with powerful magnets that contain a plasma while carefully aligned microwave genera- tors heat the atomic mixture. Now, the Institute of Advanced Energy at Kyoto University, together with the Kharkiv Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics have collab- orated to create plasmas with fusion-suitable densi- ties, using microwave power with low frequency. The research team has identified three important steps in the plasma production: lightning-like gas breakdown, preliminary plasma production, and steady-state plasma. The study is being conducted using Heliotron J, the latest iteration of experimental fusion plasma devices at the Institute of Advanced Energy, located on Kyoto U's Uji campus in south Kyoto. "Initially, we did not expect these phenomena in Heliotron J but were surprised to find that plasmas were forming without cyclotron resonance," group leader Kazunobu Nagasaki explains. "Unexpectedly, we found that blasting the micro- waves without alignment of Heliotron J's magnetic field created a discharge that ripped electrons from their atoms and produced an especially dense plasma," marvels Nagasaki. "Our findings about this method to generate plas- mas using microwave discharge may simplify fusion research in the future." (Source: Kyoto University) Cooking Up Plasmas With Microwaves

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