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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.
Bill Acito, Cadence Design Systems
The challenges faced by the PCB designers of today are significant. If we examine the breadth of designs, we find ever-increasing data rates and more high-speed signal routing that drive additional challenges meeting signal-quality requirements, including reflection signal loss and crosstalk issues. At the same time, designers are being asked to complete designs in shorter cycle times and in smaller form factors. They must come up with new and more complex routing strategies to better control impedance and crosstalk. Manual implementation is often time-consuming and prone to layout errors.
Dave Wiens, Mentor, a Siemens Business
PCB designers working with flex or rigid-flex technology face many potential risks that can derail a project and cause costly design failures. As the name implies, flex and rigid-flex designs comprise a combination of rigid and flexible board technologies made up of multiple layers of flexible circuit substrates, attached internally and/or externally to one or more rigid boards. These combinations provide flexibility for the PCB designer working on dense designs that require a specific form factor. Rigid-flex allows the PCB design team to cost-efficiently apply greater functionality to a smaller volume of space, while providing the mechanical stability required by most applications.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Millennials are the future of our industry. What does this mean for the PCB design community? How do we attract more of these smart young people to the world of PCB design? I asked Paul Musto, director of marketing for Mentor’s Board Systems Division, to explain the company’s initiatives aimed at drawing more young people into PCB design