Category Archives: Technical Publications

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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Circuits Assembly: The Basics of Thermal Profiling for Sensitive Components

Creating a thermal profile isn’t as straightforward as it once was. PCBs are populated with a growing assortment of new packaging and technologies, introducing new challenges and their associated tradeoffs when it comes to creating the thermal profile. Usually, a conventional board consists of a mix of passive and active components in traditional packaging. Increasingly, […]

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Embedded: Migrating your embedded PCB design from DDR2/3 to DDR4 SDRAMs

PCB and embedded systems designers are scratching their heads these days, facing some uncertainty as they start mapping out the move from DDR3 SDRAM to DDR4. Routing DDR2 signals on a PCB was tough enough. But with DDR3 it proved to be even more difficult and challenging. The big question now is: will DDR4 be […]

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SMT: Zulki’s PCB Nuggets – EMS Discovers Mature IC Technologies

Did you know that really new, up-to-the-moment PCB technologies are nesting on the doorstep of PCB assemblers? In fact, some of these technologies are very mature, but they’re new to PCB assemblers. For the past year or so, we’ve been talking about package-on-package (PoP) and 0.4 to 0.3-mm pitch BGAs as new technologies, and certainly […]

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Circuits Assembly: Yardsticks for Gauging AOI Effectiveness

Capital spending is an internal issue EMS providers constantly grapple with. At the back of the minds of the decision-makers are a host of related and nagging questions. Can we make do with existing equipment? What are our tradeoffs? Will we lose money using older assembly equipment? How will customers perceive older equipment? Can we […]

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