Category Archives: Technical Publications

Medical Design Briefs: DOEs Rescue Questionable Medical Electronics PCBs

Board cleaning is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of printed circuit board (PCB) assembly. But savvy medical electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have a keen sense of the importance it plays to ensure their products are free of minuscule flaws, defects, debris, and dust. In special cases, critical examinations must be performed to […]

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Embedded: Making efficient use of BGA signal routing in PCB designs

Ball grid array (BGA) device packaging is today’s standard for housing a range of highly advanced and complex semiconductor devices like FPGAs and microprocessors. The technology of BGA packaging for embedded designs is steadily advancing to keep up with chipmaker technical advances, with this type of packaging splintering out into standard and micro BGAs. Today, […]

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Embedded: Avoiding embedded PCB design defects

A number of different solder defects and associated failures in embedded designs are becoming more prevalent due to smaller printed circuit boards (PCBs) as well as shrinking ball size and pitch of ball-grid array (BGA), chip-scale (CSP), and quad-flat no-lead (QFN) packaging… Read More

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Embedded: Bringing experimental development methods to PCB design and manufacturing

PCB technologies are undergoing a major new evolution unlike anything the industry has seen before. Issues relating to PCB size, shape, complexity, thermal requirements, and shrinking board space are creating design and assembly/manufacturing challenges for the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), chip and component makers, material suppliers, and the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers. The effort […]

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Printed Circuit Design & Fab: Characteristics of a Third-Level PCB Assembly

By and large, PCB assembly up to now has been rather traditional. Surface mount technology has made significant inroads to account for the greater majority of assembly technology compared to through-hole. However, these days PCB assembly takes on new levels of technology, complexity and service requirements differently. At level one, OEMs require standard assemblies based […]

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Printed Circuit Design & Fab: Design Practices for Panelization and Depanelization

Panelization, also known as the processing of boards in an array format, keeps small boards attached to each other within a single, larger substrate. Panelization is used to process multiple small boards through assembly, and is becoming more prevalent as board sizes shrink. There are two primary reasons for using an array scheme: One is […]

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Embedded: Overlooking design-for-test can lead to costly PCB design rework

In the design phase of many printed circuit boards, the engineer is more interested in functional testing, making sure that the system he has developed meets the original specifications. Little thought may be given to incorporating features that allow visibility into the board to make sure it meets specs of the in-house manufacturing associates or […]

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Embedded: Applying Design for Manufacturing (DFM) to PCB development

In design for manufacturing (DFM), PCB design layout engineers can easily overlook key factors that at first glance don’t appear significant. But later on, these factors play a major role during manufacturing and can turn out to be the root cause of poor yields. When it comes to high-speed PCB designs, above 20 GHz in […]

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SMT: Zulki’s PCB Nuggets – Tighter Scrutiny Needed for PCB Cleaning Agents

PCB cleanliness on the assembly floor is now getting more attention, due to tiny residues and contaminants being left on assemblies after new, advanced assembly processes. Cleaning methodologies, testing, analysis, and special chemistries are being taken to a new level to assure customers of ultraclean boards to avoid costly latent issues… Read More

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SMT: Zulki’s PCB Nuggets – Uncovering Assembly Problems of High-Speed PCBs

High-speed PCBs have become much more common during the past five years. However, special challenges arise due to unanticipated high-speed issues. Some relate to manufacturing or processes, while others are pure component- or fabrication-based. In particular, highly complex, highly integrated components like FPGAs need close scrutiny. Also, it’s important to note that PCBs may use […]

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