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52 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2024 creation of more complex PCBs with minimal intervention. Integrating AI and ML in mod- ern designs could redefine the future of not just the PCB design space but the entire industry. Conclusion AI and ML are completely changing how designers view their capabilities in the design space. ese technologies are revolutioniz- ing the PCB design industry by elevating reli- ability, enhancing efficiency, and optimizing design layouts. rough AI and ML, designers are becoming empowered to push the bound- aries of PCB innovation, while also creating sophisticated and reliable electronic products. e future of artificial intelligence and machine learning is vast as these technologies are rap- idly growing and creating continuous progress in the PCB industry. DESIGN007 Resources • "AI & ML Optimization in PCB Design: Streamlining Processes,", April 21, 2024. • "The Current State of AI in PCB Design in 2023," by Zachariah Peterson,, June 10, 2023. • "5 Ways AI Will Revolutionize Hardware Design in 2024," by Mattias Wagner,, March 12, 2024. Hannah Grace is a process engineer at Texas Instruments and in the IPC Emerging Engineer Program. To read past columns, click here. What determines the cycle life of batteries? And, more importantly, how can we extend it? An inter- national research team led by TU Delft has discov- ered that local disorder in the oxide cathode mate- rial increases the number of times Li-ion batteries can be charged and discharged. Their results have been published in Nature. Rechargeable batteries are a key ingredient of the energy transition, especially now that more and more renewable energy is becoming available. Among the many types of rechargeable batteries, Li-ion batteries are among the most powerful and widely used ones. To electrically connect them, lay- ered oxides are often used as electrodes. However, their atomic structure becomes unstable when the battery is being charged. This ultimately affects the battery cycle life. To solve this problem, the 'Storage of Elec- trochemical Energy' group at TU Delft teamed up with international researchers. The paper's lead author, Qidi Wang: "The layered oxide used as cathode material for Li-ion batter- ies is neatly ordered. We conducted a structure design study to intro- duce chemical short-range disorder into this material through an improved synthesis method. As a result, it became more stable during battery use." Longer cycle life, shorter charging time The improved structural stability almost doubled the battery's capacity retention after 200 charging/ discharging cycles. In addition, this chemical short- range disorder increases the charge transfer in the electrode, resulting in shorter charging times. The team demonstrated these advantages for well- established commercial cathodes such as lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) and lithium nickel manga- nese cobalt oxide (NMC811). Critical materials The outcomes could lead to a new generation of Li-ion batteries, with a lower manufacturing cost and smaller CO2 footprint per unit of energy stored over its lifetime. The team will next investigate if the same material design principles can be used to build cathodes from raw materials that are less scarce. (Source: Delft University of Technology) Disorder Improves Battery Life

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