Isola Unveils New Technical Education Series


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Isola Group S.à r.l., a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), today announced the launch of a new Technical Education Series (TES) to address the increasingly important role of laminate materials in the overall process of system-level design.

The TES was developed to update system-level designers on important aspects of laminate selection by means of a dynamic, interactive viewing experience. Users can access the initial four videos within the TES by logging-in at www.isola-group.com/TES. The topics therein will inform designers of electronic systems about issues that can affect the performance of PCBs and how the selection of appropriate PCB materials can enhance the functionality of their designs. The TES, which is offered free-of-charge, also provides a forum for designers to discuss and suggest related topics. Additional videos will be added to the series throughout the year.

Three of the four videos in the TES are presented by PCB industry expert, Lee Ritchey of Speeding Edge. Ritchey's topics include Minimizing Skew in Very High-speed Serial Data Links, How Much Bandwidth Does a High-speed Differential Pair Require and The Merits and Drawbacks of Using Low-Dk Laminates in High-speed PCBs. The fourth video, Passive Intermodulation (PIM) in PCBs, is presented by Mike Miller, Isola's Senior OEM-Marketing Manager.

Today, every aspect of product development needs to be approached from a system-level perspective. Laminate materials serve as the "foundation" for these systems. And, as with the foundation of a house, if the optimal PCB laminate is not selected, the entire system can collapse. The issues ensuing from the selection of laminate materials which are not optimal for a particular design include increased non-recurring engineering costs, missed windows for product introductions and multiple re-spins of PCBs. The goal of Isola's TES is to address these and related issues.

Tarun Amla, Isola's Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, stated, "The balance between advancements in product functionality and process technology can be complicated. A mismatch can cause a ripple effect across the entire system-level development cycle. For example, product-engineering teams may not have insight into the laminate evaluation and selection process, since PCB materials are often selected by board fabricators or internal purchasing departments. As a result, product development engineers may never realize the desired performance of their designs due to the inappropriate materials selected to build their boards. They may not be aware of cost savings available from hybrid PCB designs or from materials designed specifically for their applications."

Speeding Edge's Lee Ritchey added, "In the past, there was a definite demarcation between lower-level and high-speed design products. That differentiation no longer exists. If you are using today's component technology, you are by default designing a high-speed product – regardless of the end use of that product. However, the learning curve has not necessarily tracked with the component usage, so product developers can be left in a 'technology maze' and not have all the information they need to implement their designs using next-generation technology. Companies, such as Isola, who take an active role in helping to educate their customers, can serve as key technology educators as well as trusted product suppliers."

Access to Isola's TES videos is provided on the company's website at www.isola-group.com/TES.

About Isola

Isola Group S.à r.l., headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, is a global material sciences company focused on designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepregs used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards. The company's high-performance materials are used in sophisticated electronic applications in the communications infrastructure, computing/networking, military, medical, aerospace and automotive industries. For more information, visit our website at http://www.isola-group.com/.

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