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The Shaughnessy Report
By Andy Shaughnessy
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The Shaughnessy Report: In Bed With Embedded
We’re always hearing about PCB technology running into a wall. On the design side, Moore’s Law hit one such wall. On the fab side, features are now so tiny that the traditional subtractive methods have hit another type of wall. And we see OEMs who never planned to use flexible circuits wind up embracing them, because rigid boards just won’t fit into a new product’s form factor.
Similarly, the popularity of embedded components results from technology hitting a wall, or a series of walls. If your board’s skyline faces height limitations, and/or reliability is paramount, embedding components into the layers of the PCB is a great way to go.
Now, embedded components are found in everything from smartphones to health monitor bracelets. But there are several design and manufacturing hurdles that can trip up designers who are new to this technology.
In the February 2024 issue of Design007 Magazine, our expert contributors lay down the foundation of knowledge that designers need to be aware of to make intelligent, educated decisions about embedded design.
We start with a conversation with IPC’s Kris Moyer, who teaches embedded design techniques. He provides an overview of the design and manufacturing steps related to embedding components. John Andresakis discusses embedded resistor copper foils, their design challenges and benefits, and some resources available to designers working with embedded components. Next, columnist Vern Solberg offers some handy tips, tricks, and techniques for designing with embedded components. Stephen Chavez explains how designers can “unleash the power” of embedded components and make their boards more reliable and often less costly—with the right pre-planning.
Cody Stetzel has a feature that outlines all the different types of embedded capacitors on the market today. Columnist Barry Olney takes a signal integrity engineer’s view of embedded capacitance materials and breaks down their challenges and benefits. Our own PCB historian, Joe Fjelstad, traces the development of embedded component technology from its postwar roots through today.
We’ll bring you coverage of DesignCon and IPC APEX EXPO in the next few months, so stay tuned.
This column originally appears in the February 2024 issue of Design007 Magazine.
More Columns from The Shaughnessy ReportThe Shaughnessy Report: Pulling Together
The Shaughnessy Report: The Winds of Change
The Shaughnessy Report: Trace Oddity
The Shaughnessy Report: Simply Speaking
The Shaughnessy Report: Exploring High-reliability Fabrication
The Shaughnessy Report: What Are the Standards of Design?
The Shaughnessy Report: Rigid-flex Design No Longer a Niche
The Shaughnessy Report: Developing a Strategy