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In this issue, we discuss some of the challenges, pitfalls and mitigations to consider when designing non-standard board geometries. We share strategies for designing odd-shaped PCBs, including manufacturing trade-offs and considerations required for different segments and perspectives.
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Financial Risks of Ignoring Copper GrainNovember 1, 2023 | Alex Stepinski, Stepinski Group
Estimated reading time: 1 minute
The topic of intrinsic copper structure has been largely neglected in discussions regarding the PCB fabrication quality control process. At face value, this seems especially strange considering that copper has been the primary conductor in all wiring boards and substrates since they were first invented. IPC and other standards almost exclusively address copper thickness with some mild attention being paid to surface structure for signal loss-mitigation/coarse properties.
Yet we still lack standards references as to what the actual copper grain structure should look like to optimize microvia reliability, what a target pad and capture-annulus should look like after laser drilling and post-treatment, and what copper grain structure yields which etch rate for optimizing the substrate differential etch and resolution limit. These topics generally fall into the category of individual factory know-how.
In this article, we will present examples of applications where improved measurement and control of copper grain structure and topography provide significant gains in value to the PCB fab process.
In the case of microvias, in addition to the traditional chemical analyses, white-light microscopy inspections, weight gains/losses, and SIR readings associated with laser drill and the metallization of microvias, best practice has recently found that three different inspection steps for copper structural assessment to assure high-reliability results are also valuable to de-risking the process.
To read the rest of this article, which appeared in the October 2023 issue of PCB Magazine, click here.
After working for a capital equipment supplier for almost 50 years, I’ve found that the most important part of getting to know your vendor is good communication among all parties. While contact between fabricators of a constantly changing product line and the designers of those products may occur daily or weekly, conversations between you and your equipment supplier may be years apart. That lengthy gap often means that previous contacts may have been promoted, retired, or moved on to other opportunities. You may have also migrated to a new supplier with whom you have little or no history. In either case, you will be interacting with someone you are unfamiliar with (as they are with you). Therefore, it is essential for both sides to communicate clearly so expectations will align.
The opening session of the second day’s conference proceedings focused on global PCB trends and was introduced and moderated by Dr. Michele Stampanoni, vice president of strategic sales and business development at Cicor Group in Switzerland. He opened the session with Dr. Hayao Nakahara’s knowledgeable and enlightening video presentation on the IC substrates industry.
The 2024 Winter Conference of the EIPC took place January 30 and 31 at the IHK Academie in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. The keynote session will be reported separately. Here is my review of the first day’s conference proceedings.
Electrodeposition comes down to fundamentals. In the early days of plating, many users considered the nuances of metallization as black magic. Those days are long gone. Having a thorough understanding of the critical parameters that influence electrodeposition will determine success.
High Density Packaging User Group (HDP) is pleased to announce that Shikoku Chemicals Corporation (Shikoku) has become a member.