I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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The USMCA trade agreement was just the tip of the iceberg in news affecting our industry this week. As H. Ross Perot predicted when I was a few years out of college, the U.S. lived to regret signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the new USMCA is designed to right NAFTA’s wrongs.

We also saw more young people getting involved in the industry, an HDP User Group webinar on automotive thermal issues, and more questions for our own Happy Holden—this time, on stacked microvia reliability, or the lack thereof.

With all of the craziness around—some states opening up and others clamping down again due to rising COVID-19 numbers—the innovation in PCB design and manufacturing continues. Next week, check the Friday edition of our Daily Newsletter for Nolan Johnson’s picks.

IPC: Shawn DuBravac and Chris Mitchell on USMCA
Published July 2

On July 1, the USMCA trade act was phased in, and that same day, Nolan Johnson interviewed two IPC experts in that field: Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac and VP of Global Government Affairs Chris Mitchell. This is a can’t-miss interview for everyone involved in the electronics industry.

Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors
Published June 30

For years, IPC has been spearheading the drive to attract more young people into electronics manufacturing. As Charlene Gunter du Plessis explains, IPC has elected Paige Fiet, president of an IPC Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University, as its first Board of Directors Student Member Liaison. We have to reach more young people, and the best way to reach them is with other young people who are already involved in the industry. Smart move by IPC.

Materials for Automotive Applications: Thermal Management Issues
Published July 2

It’s summertime, and it’s getting hot! Technical Editor Pete Starkey attended the recent HDP User Group Automotive Technology Webinar, and he was particularly impressed with a presentation on thermal management given by Ventec International Group’s Alun Morgan. As Pete comments, thermal challenges are becoming part of even mainstream automotive applications, and insulated metal substrates provide cost-effective options.

June Issue of SMT007: A Snapshot of a Resilient Industry 
Published June 30

We recently asked Tamara Jovanovic, a young hardware engineer with smart baby-bed maker Happiest Baby, to review the June issue of SMT007 Magazine. Tamara discusses the articles on leadership in these COVID-19 times and weaves in personal stories, such as roommates who dubbed her a “ghostbuster” when she brought her oscilloscope home to work remotely. Don’t miss this.

Just Ask Happy: Stacked Microvia Reliability Issues
Published July 1

Our “Just Ask Happy” series is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Holden enjoys answering your questions, and, as befits someone known as “Mr. HDI,” he gets plenty of questions on microvias. In this article, Happy addresses the ongoing reliability challenges related to stacking vias and a few workarounds to use until this problem is solved. If you have a question for Happy, click here.

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Book Excerpt: ‘Thermal Management: A Fabricator's Perspective,' Chapter 3

01/26/2021 | Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
Conceptually, a metal-core board is exactly like it sounds—the metal is in the middle of the PCB sandwiched between layers on both sides. Just about any PCBA that will contain active heat-generating components can benefit when designed on a metal-core PCB. On a conventional PCB, the standard FR-4 layers are relatively poor thermal conductors, and heat is normally dissipated from active components using vias and thermal pads, as discussed earlier.

Chapter 2 Excerpt from the Book ‘Thermal Management: A Fabricator's Perspective’

12/21/2020 | Anaya Vardya, American Standard Circuits
Insulated metal PCBs (IMPCB) or metal-clad PCBs (MCPCB) are a thermal management design that utilizes a layer of solid metal to dissipate the heat generated by the various components on the PCBs. When metal is attached to a PCB, the bonding material can either be thermally conductive but electrically isolative (IMPCBs or MCPCBs), or in the case of RF/microwave circuits, the bonding material may be both electrically and thermally conductive. The reason that RF designers usually have the bonding material thermally and electrically conductive is that they are using this not only as a heat sink but also as part of the ground layer. The design considerations are quite different for these different applications.

Book Excerpt: Thermal Management With Insulated Metal Substrates, Part 4

12/10/2020 | Didier Mauve and Ian Mayoh, Ventec
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of "The Printed Circuit Designer's Guide to... Thermal Management With Insulated Metal Substrates," written by Ventec International Group’s Didier Mauve and Ian Mayoh. In this free eBook, the authors provide PCB designers with the essential information required to understand the thermal, electrical, and mechanical characteristics of insulated metal substrate laminates.



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