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56 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2017 pitch. In fact, 100 mils was the standard lead pitch used for nearly all electronic components of that era, and especially dual in line (DIP) packages, and designing PCBs was an almost perfunctory task. However, as through-hole in- terconnection technology yielded primacy to surface mount technology a change took place. Lead pitches were based on yields in PCB board manufacture and assembly, causing the for- mula to be tossed out, and the 80% Rule was established, resulting in numerous lead pitches (e.g., 1.25, 1.0, 0.8, 0.65, 0.5, 0.4, etc.). This sig- nificantly challenged and challenges the design process compared to terminations on a com- mon grid, as shown in Figure 2. Now we collectively have opportunity to reconstitute the "magic formula" that worked so well in the early years and make it available to the entire global electronics community. Industry adoption of a standard grid does not preempt manufacturers wishing to maintain ex- clusivity from making "Rolls-Royce" electronic systems based on unique design rules and man- ufacturing concepts the customers might seek out for their products where cost is not a con- cern. Rather the concept put forth here is for all those who really just want and need "basic transportation." Interestingly, should the concept of stan- dards-based electronic assembly design be broadly adopted as logic (at least this individ- ual's logic) dictates it should be, we might well see a day when the lowest-cost and the highest- performing electronics are one and the same. That will be the day when we have collectively stripped out all of the unnecessary elements from electronic design, thus reducing manufac- turing cost to the lowest limit. Those who feel threatened by standards and those with rugged individualist attitudes may slow the adaptation of a standard grid concept, but they cannot di- minish the intrinsic and compelling, if hidden, logic that a standard fundamental grid pitch has to offer. PCBDESIGN Joe Fjelstad is CEO of Verdant Elec- tronics. To read past columns or to contact Fjelstad, click here. THE BENEFITS OF EMPLOYING A STANDARD GRID PITCH IN DESIGN Your doctor waves a hand-held scan- ner over your body and gets detailed, high-resolution images of your internal organs and tissues. The physician then sends gigabytes of data instantly to a re- mote server and just as rapidly receives information to make a diagnosis. Integrated circuit researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created a silicon micro- chip-based component that could make these and many other actions possible. Known as a "radiator," the tiny gadget emits millimeter-wave signals in the G band (110 to 300 gigahertz). Most transmitters now generate lin- early polarized signals, which can get "lost" when antennas and receivers are out of alignment. Emis- sions from one of the UCI radiators, if you could see them, would appear as tiny spinning tornados. Beams of this shape are particularly effec- tive at penetrating solid objects and pro- viding detailed pictures of what's inside. But the new radiator can do a lot more than facilitate scanning and imag- ing. According to Heydari, it could be the key that unlocks millimeter-wave transmission as part of the fifth-generation wireless standard now in development. In addition, the tiny yet powerful chips can be embedded virtually any- where. The Internet of Things will rely heavily on machines, buildings and other infrastructure being equipped with sensors and antennae. Driverless vehicles will only be possible if cars and trucks can detect each other. "By using this millimeter-wave technology, cars all of a sudden become super-smart processing sys - tems," Heydari said. Device Could Revolutionize Scanning, Spectroscopy and Wireless Communication

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