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38 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2024 Article by Yash Sutariya SATURN PCB SERVICES, INC. ey call me Sparky. is is due to my tal- ent for getting shocked by a variety of voltages and because I cannot seem to keep my hands out of power control cabinets. While I do not have the time to throw the knife switch to the off position, that doesn't stop me from sticking screwdrivers into the fuse boxes. In all honesty, I'm lucky to be alive. Fortunately, I also have a talent for building high-voltage heavy cop- per circuit boards. Since this is where I spend most of my time, I can guide you through some potential design for manufacturability (DFM) hazards you may encounter with heavy copper design. I have always perceived the term "heavy cop- per" as a printed circuit board with layers con- taining at least three ounces of finished copper. Recently, I've noticed a peculiar trend. We see monikers being used to describe higher cop- per weights (think 10-ounce, 20-ounce) that are seemingly pulled right out of a '90s-era Mountain Dew commercial: "extreme copper" or "super copper." I'm trying to coin the term "stupid crazy copper," but somehow, I don't think it will stick. ese are all fabricated descriptions to high- light achievements in building PCBs beyond our industry's standards. ere is no standard definition for heavy copper from IPC, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun designing and building these beasts of the PCB world. No matter what you call them or how you define them, we can all agree on why we use them. Heavy copper boards increase current carrying capacity and decrease circuit failures by reducing thermal resistance. To reduce layer count, some will contain more copper on the inner layers than the outer; moreover, some will even have different amounts of copper on the same layer. ey can also function as a heat sink thanks to plated vias and their capac- ity to carry a higher current and heat through Heavy Copper PCBs: Bridging the Gap Between Design and Fabrication, Part 1

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