Category Archives: Technical Publications

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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Careful Design Steps Critical for LED PCBs

Although LEDs are steadily growing more popular in many applications, in recent years that growth has greatly and dramatically accelerated. This is due to the explosion of smartphones, iPods, and tablets, as well as other similar small and portable products for consumer, industrial, military, aerospace, and commercial markets. The ever shrinking liquid crystal display (LCD) […]

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ECN: PoP-based PCBs move to center stage

Package-on-package (PoP) technology is coming on strong and continues to overshadow the ever popular system-on-chip (SoC) and other similar packaging types. The rationale behind PoP is simple. More OEMs are miniaturizing their products, but are intent on adding more functionality. Hence, the only way to go to meet these challenges is to make the printed […]

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SMT: Zulki’s PCB Nuggets – Another Look at AOI

PCB inspection is taking on greater significance as boards and packaging become increasingly smaller, with greater functionality. Automated optical inspection (AOI) and its backup associate, X-ray, team up to catch a variety of board assembly problems. But it’s AOI that’s at the forefront of this process. Read More

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SMT: Zulki’s PCB Nuggets – ECOs Reviewed – The Importance of Accuracy

Engineering change orders (ECOs) have been part of the product development and PCB landscapes for as far back as one can remember. Particularly, when it comes to ECOs for PCBs, there are varying and endless reasons for these changes. Certainly, PCB designers can perfectly layout a design and, in theory, follow written specifications to the […]

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