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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 Feature by Bob Potock ZUKEN USA The electronic product design process is being challenged like never before, with the need to develop feature-rich, light, compact products at a lower cost, in less time. To address these challenges, designers are combining chips and boards in new configurations, such as complex 3D stacked structures, or new packaging tech- nologies like package-on-package (PoP) and system-in-package (SiP). They are also embed- ding passive and active components on inner layers, inside cavities and within the dielectric of the board stack-up. Traditional 2D PCB design systems are used to design one PCB at a time in isolation from the other PCBs within a product, and also in isolation from the ICs, packages, and enclo- sure. Validating connections between the PCBs, collision checking the boards to the enclosure, and reducing interconnection distance to the ICs requires time-consuming manual opera- tions that are error-prone and limit the poten- tial for reuse. A new generation of 3D multi-board product- level design tools offer major improvements by managing multi-board placement in both 2D and 3D, and enabling co-design of the chip, package and board in a single environment. Multi-board design makes it possible to create and validate a design with any combination of system-on-chips (SOCs), packages, and PCBs as a complete system. Chip-package-board co- design enables designers to optimize routabil- ity via pin assignment and I/O placement to minimize layer counts between the package, chip and board. The new design methodology makes it possible to deliver more functional, higher performing and less expensive products to market in less time. Multi-board Design Challenges Today's complex multi-board electronic products create design challenges, such as planning and management of interconnects at 3D Convergence of Multi-board PCB and IC Packaging Design Figure 1: Multi-board design of two rigid PCBs and a flexible PCB shown in 3D.

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