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Many aspects of a PCB’s performance are determined during detailed design, e.g., making a trace a specific length for timing reasons. Timing issues are also affected by temperature differences between components. Thermal issues with the PCB design are largely locked in during the component (i.e., chip package) selection and layout phases.
After this point only remedial actions are possible if components are found to run too hot. We advocate a top-down approach starting at the system or enclosure level in order to understand the flow environment for the electronics, which is critical for air-cooled electronics. Assumptions made about the uniformity of the airflow in early design that subsequently proves unachievable can have a disastrous impact on the commercial viability of the product and meeting the market window.
This handy “how to” guide provides an overview of the key considerations in PCB thermal design and how to optimize the thermal layout.
To download this white paper, click here.
Ralf Bruening, Zuken
Using powerful constraint techniques can be a double-edged sword. While the design process is made much safer by including constraints, it is all too easy to over-constrain the design and make it impossible to complete routing and placement. Even paper design guidelines can make products uneconomic to produce unless a great deal of engineering knowledge is applied during the design.
John Coonrod, Rogers Corporation
Ready or not, 5G is coming, and it will require the right circuit materials for many different types of high-frequency circuits, including power amplifiers. 5G represents the latest and greatest in wireless technology, and it will be challenging to design and fabricate, starting with the circuit board materials, because it will operate across many different frequencies, such as 6 GHz and below, as well as at millimeter-wave frequencies (typically 30 GHz and above).
Kelly Dack, CID+, EPTAC
While I was teaching my CID class for EPTAC in Santa Clara, I learned that we were only a block away from Streamline Circuits. Streamline does a lot of military and aerospace work, as well as communications and industrial electronics. The company manufactures quite a bit of multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuits, in addition to rigid boards. This would make a great field trip for my CID class!