Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly October 2022
October 2022
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October 2022 • VOL. 39 • NO. 10
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
First Person
Adding it up.
Mike Buetow
money matters
3-D printing (almost) all adds up.
Peter Bigelow
Don’t single source your boards.
Greg Papandrew
Top-down customer service.
Susan Mucha
Tech Talk
A shocking reminder.
John Burkhert, Jr.
Industry 5.0: Revenge of the humans.
Alun Morgan
Slash sheets have you covered.
Nick Koop
Stencil nanocoatings 2.0.
Clive Ashmore
October 2022 • VOL. 39 • NO. 10
Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly logo
Industrial Digitalization
How are companies are addressing digital transformation, ever-increasing design complexity, and the effects of a post-pandemic world on tech companies amid the so-called “Great Resignation?” A study of nearly 300 companies gauges the shifting approaches to hardware and software.
by John McMillan
HDI Design
When microvias are necessary, many design decisions need to be made. A study of the influence of design parameters that impact success on high-reliability products.
by Kevin Kusiak and Scott Bowles
Printed Circuit Design & Fab Circuits Assembly October 2022 cover
Assembly Rework
PCB component milling removal processes have become more automated, and many previous shortcomings in milling of electronic components have been overcome. These process developments, due to the built-in vacuum chuck and real-time, high precision laser-guided depth measuring, make the latest commercial version of milling of components more attractive.
by Bob Wettermann
with WANG LU
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PCEA logo
PO Box 807
Stephen Chavez, chairman
Michael Creeden, vice chairman
Justin Fleming, secretary
Gary Ferrari, chairman emeritus

Michael Buetow
Tomas Chester
Douglas Dixon
Tara Dunn
Richard Hartley
Scott McCurdy
Anaya Vardya
Susy Webb
Eriko Yamato










The Printed Circuit Engineering Association, Inc. Brands
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Chelsey Drysdale 949-295-3109 |

Chelsey Drysdale 949-295-3109 |

Clive Ashmore, Peter Bigelow, Robert Boguski, John D. Borneman, John Burkhert, Jr., Joseph Fama, Mark Finstad, Nick Koop, Alun Morgan, Susan Mucha, Greg Papandrew, Chrys Shea, Jan Vardaman, Gene Weiner

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autolam: Base-Material Solutions for Automotive Electronics

High-Performance Automotive Electronics begins with Innovative Materials

Automotive electronics technologies are evolving at an increasing rate. Paying attention to the properties of materials at the substrate level is the first step towards achieving the most stringent performance targets of today’s automotive manufacturers. autolam offers the solutions demanded by the diverse and unique requirements of automotive applications today and in the future.


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The Route

A headshot photo of Mike Buetow smiling (Editor-in-Chief at UP Media Group)



A Different Kind of Additive Manufacturing


was all set this month to write about plating using additive manufacturing, but when someone pointed out just how subtractive the industry really is, it compelled a change in plans.

It came in the way of an email from Dr. Hayao Nakahara, the preeminent market researcher in the printed circuit industry. Naka, as he is known to friends, shared results of a months-long study of the North American PCB supply base.

This was no easy task. Naka started with the Fabfile database, long the favorite child of Harvey Miller. Harvey, who is about to hit 100 years old (!), gave Naka the keys to the car. In turn, Naka reached out to every company on that list, diligently revising and updating. The effort took more than three months.

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Around the World

PCDF People

Incap named Hanno Septer to its strategic sourcing and purchasing team.

Nano Dimension named Quintin Armstrong North America service manager. He has experience in sales and engineering with leading contract assemblers and SMT process equipment OEMs over 30 years in the electronics industry.

Juan Frias Headshot
Rivian named Juan Frias staff PC board designer. He has more than 20 years’ experience in electronics design with Flex, Continental, MJS, Crane and most recently Glenair.
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Summit Interconnect named Sean Patterson chief operating officer. He was most recently chief revenue officer at Nano Dimension, and held multiple leadership roles in Amazon’s transportation and healthcare groups. He also led numerous aerospace and defense manufacturing plants during his tenure at TTM Technologies.
Around the World
Berkeley Scientists Develop Biodegradable Printed Circuit
Berkeley, CA – A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have developed what they say is a fully recyclable and biodegradable printed circuit.

The researchers, who reported the new device in the journal Advanced Materials, say that the advance could divert wearable devices and other flexible electronics from landfill, and mitigate the health and environmental hazards posed by heavy metal waste.

For the study, Ting Xu, faculty senior scientist, Berkeley Lab Materials Sciences Division, and professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering at UC Berkeley, and her team eschewed expensive purified enzymes in favor of shelf-ready enzymes known as Burkholderia cepacian lipase (BC-lipase) “cocktails.” This significantly reduces costs, facilitating the printed circuit’s entry into mass manufacturing, Xu said.

Doing so enabled the researchers to develop a printable conductive ink composed of biodegradable polyester binders, conductive fillers such as silver flakes or carbon black, and commercially available enzyme cocktails.

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Around the World

Nortech Gains Patent for High Frequency Flex Circuit

MINNEAPOLIS – The US Patent Office has issued a patent to Nortech Systems for its Flex Faraday Xtreme, a flexible printed circuit for transmitting high frequency signals while precisely controlling both crosstalk and impedance, minimizing electromagnetic interference, improving parallel transmission alignment, and increasing data density.

Patent No. 11,412,608 is based on the work of Michael Faraday in the 1830s that contributed to current understanding of shielding effects of what is now call a Faraday Cage. It was invented by Scott Blanc, principal engineer, and is the company’s first patent in its technology portfolio. FFX adoption will ramp up through 2023 and will not have a material impact on Nortech’s 2022 or 2023 financial results.

“Nortech’s commitment to innovative technologies is key to supporting our strategic medical, industrial, and defense customers,” said Jay D. Miller, chief executive and president, Nortech. “In highly complex and compact devices, the FFX is designed to provide the signal integrity necessary to support sensitive, mission-critical applications.”

Around the World
CA People
Benchmark named Tiffany Elle director of internal communication.

Flex announced Christopher Butler as president, Industrial Business.

ShinePure Hi-Tech (Ningbo) named Ning Cheng-Lee account executive.
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PCEA Current Events
Chapter News

National: The PCEA Annual Meeting will take place Oct. 4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in conjunction with PCB West. All PCEA members in good standing are invited to attend. The 2023-24 board will be formally introduced at the meeting.

Scott McCurdy Headshot
Scott McCurdy in August stepped down as Membership committee chairman. Mike Creeden takes over as Membership chair and will continue as vice chairman until board elections are finalized.

“Please join me in thanking Scott for all his past and current actions and dedication to service in getting PCEA chapters kickstarted over these past two years,” said board chairman Stephen Chavez. “Scott will continue his involvement with chapter activities as chairman of the PCEA Orange County chapter, and on the executive board.”

Mike Creeden Headshot
A new chapter leader orientation meeting was held Aug. 31, with members from Albuquerque, the Ozarks, Greater Boston and Denver among those attending. Mike Creeden and Scott McCurdy shared details of PCEA, how to launch a chapter and the importance of culture in developing a sustainable chapter.

Orange County: A live Lunch ‘n Learn is scheduled for Oct. 19. Stephen Chavez and Gerry Partida are putting together a presentation on “Best Practices” focusing on do’s and don’ts, and the dialogue between a designer and fabricator.

Rio Grande Valley: The startup chapter had its second leadership meeting in September, and is hoping to have its first public event in the next few months.

Silicon Valley: Held in-person meeting on Aug. 4 at Siemens EDA in Fremont, CA, featuring a good presentation by Carl Schattke. (Schattke will also be presenting at PCB West next month.)


PCEA Issues Call for Abstracts for PCB East 2023

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PEACHTREE CITY, GA – PCEA seeks abstracts for the upcoming PCB East technical conference, coming to the Boston suburbs next spring. The conference will focus on training and best practices for printed circuit board design engineers, electronics design engineers, fabricators and assemblers.

The three-day technical conference will take place May 9-11, 2023, in Boxborough,
MA. The event includes a one-day exhibition on May 10.

Papers and presentations of the following durations are sought for the technical conference: one-hour lectures and presentations; two-hour workshops; and half-day (3.5 hours) and full-day seminars.

Preference is given to presentations of two hours in length or more, and no presentations of less than one hour will be considered.

Abstracts of 100 to 500 words and speaker biographies should be submitted to PCEA. Papers and presentations must be noncommercial in nature and should focus on technology, techniques or methodologies.

Submit abstracts to by Oct. 28, 2022. No emailed abstracts will be accepted.

Presenters of accepted abstract(s) for the 2023 program will receive complimentary access to the online proceedings and a complimentary pass to the technical conference.


PCB West Announces Free Technical Sessions

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PEACHTREE CITY, GA – Registrants for the PCB West exhibition this fall will gain access to nine free technical sessions, PCEA announced. The sessions take place on October 5 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center, and run the gamut from advanced packaging to design, fabrication and assembly.

“Free Wednesday” leads off with a panel on “How Heterogenous Integration Affects the PCB Industry,” moderated by Phil Marcoux, a legend in SMT and advanced packaging. Heterogeneous is the latest branding effort to promote the assembly of dissimilar electronic components. In the past these could be called multichip modules, 2.5-D, 3-D and even “hybrid” assemblies. Heterogeneous integration makes the design function much more complex than is typical for electronic products, however, because many parameters can impact performance. This panel will address those complexities and how to solve them for printed circuit board designs.

The panel is followed by a pair of sessions that look at design and fabrication considerations of semi-additive processes and high-frequency materials, followed by the keynote address, “Augmented and Virtual Reality, the Next Computer Revolution,” by Brian Toleno, Ph.D., Meta. Following a lunch on the show floor, which is free to all show attendees, the free sessions resume with a pair of sessions looking at emerging PCB technologies and common design errors caught at fabrication, plus a review of the PCB outline drawing.

Two talks on how to leverage bidirectional data transfer using the IPC-CFX and IPC-2581 formats to create a digitized “smart” factory fill out the afternoon schedule.

Following the free sessions is a reception on the exhibition show floor.

Anyone who registers at for the exhibition and free sessions by October 4 will receive free admission. Day of show registration for the exhibition and free sessions is $25.

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Market Watch


Hot Takes

  • Global shipments of traditional PCs are forecast to decline 12.8% in 2022 to 305.3 million units while tablet shipments will fall 6.8% to 156.8 million. (IDC)
  • North American EMS shipments in July were up 22.7% versus a year ago but fell 3.2% sequentially. (IPC)
  • Passive component makers have seen their commodity MLCC and chip resistor inventory swell in the second half, the result of sluggish demand for consumer electronics products, and are eyeing automotive applications as a growth driver. (DigiTimes)
  • Worldwide hardcopy peripherals shipments declined 3.9% year-over-year to 22 million units in the second quarter. (IDC)
  • Smartphone shipments will decline 6.5% to 1.27 billion units in 2022, then rebound 5.2% in 2023. (IDC)
  • Third quarter NAND flash wafer contract prices are falling and the pricing decline is estimated to balloon to 30 to 35% from the original estimate of 15 to 20%. (TrendForce)
  • DDR5 contract prices, which fell as much as 20% in July alone, are expected to continue trending downward through the end of this year, according to sources at memory module houses.(DigiTimes)
  • The worldwide semiconductor capital spending growth forecast is now 21%, down from the 24% growth forecast at the beginning of this year. (IC Insights)
  • Total North American PCB shipments in July were up 4.5% compared to last year and dropped 24.9% sequentially. (IPC)
  • Additive manufacturing sales are set to surpass $41 billion by 2033. (IDTechEx)
  • Electronic component market sentiment slumped to 86.0 in August, down 870 basis points sèquentially. The one relative bright spot is the expected stabilization of market sentiment in September as the outlook calls for a level of 88.4. Measurements below the benchmark level of 100 indicate negative sales growth.(ECIA)
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Fit to Print

Additive manufacturing might not be ready for prime time, but it’s making inroads.

SOMETIMES I FIND myself walking around the shop floor asking, “Why do we have all this very expensive equipment? There must be a simpler, cheaper way to make a printed circuit board!” And yet, despite phenomenal technological strides, our industry still uses the same basic manufacturing processes since the earliest days of circuit board production: drill – image – plate – press – repeat – then route.

Observing so many different processes, simple logic might make you think printing conductive ink would have replaced plating processes long ago. Yet while printed electronics has advanced considerably, it is not ready for prime time for all applications. (Full disclosure: I spent a half-dozen years earlier in my career in the paperboard and flexible packaging industry, experimenting with various types of inks printing on materials that included cardboard, kraft boxboard, film, foil, and coated and uncoated paper.) Web-to-web printing of conductive inks can accomplish much, but the circuit board industry still primarily requires producing in sheet (panel) form to deliver the parts customers require. Moreover, conductive inks provide rather limited current capacity.

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Board Buying

Your PCB Vendor Basket Should Have More than One Egg

Relying on a single source is a recipe for failure.

“GOOD, FAST AND cheap … pick two” is an old maxim that applies – to a degree, anyway – to the printed circuit board industry.

The implications, of course, are that if it’s fast and good, it’s going to be expensive; if it’s good and cheap, it will require lots of time; and if it’s cheap and fast, the quality will be poor.

PCB buyers should keep this in mind when choosing vendors and avoid relying too much on one supplier if they want good quality boards delivered on time and at a reasonable price.

While PCB manufacturers use basically the same equipment, raw materials and processes to build boards, it is ultimately their business philosophy that differentiates one from another.

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Stopping the Spread of Customer Service Mediocrity
Teams are overworked and on the edge. How to combat the slide.

ONE OF MY favorite bosses pointed out that a contract is only as good as the intent of the parties who sign it. Yes, you can haul a party in breach of contract into court or arbitration, but the resolution rarely completely fixes the issue, and in many cases parties breach agreements with no consequences. Nowhere is that more evident than in today’s semiconductor industry. You’ll get parts when they arrive even when there was a commitment for an earlier date; they may cost more than the agreed-upon price; and the order is non-cancellable regardless of how many previously agreed-upon terms change. In short, one party has no intent to adhere to the terms of its agreements, and market conditions will likely enable that behavior to continue indefinitely with no consequences.

This type of environment can be as contagious as the most recent Covid variant. Customer service and honoring commitments are sliding across the board. Last month, I listened to a gate agent lecture a 6 a.m. flyer who foolishly thought she could get to her destination in a single day, saying the airline wasn’t obligated to put her on a different airline until she had been stuck in transit for 48 hours. Separately, three contractors I called for glass cutting informed me that they couldn’t commit to a time for quoting or delivery but would a call an hour before they arrived. One finally did call back a week later and got the job. The other two still haven’t called back. When all competitors in a market are getting away with behaving badly, mediocrity thrives.

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designer’s notebook
Electrostatic Discharge: As Old as the Hills and Still Something to Consider
Grounding and routing tips for sensitive parts.

YEARS AGO, I set out to become a world-famous PCB designer. The journey, however, took much longer than that. Starting near the beginning, the second lesson I learned about electronics came on the first day on the job in electronics. I bet you’re wondering what I did in electronics on my first day.

My contribution was to put completed printed circuit board assemblies into pink bubble wrap bags. The bags were sealed with resealable ESD warning stickers and placed in individual boxes. Labels on the boxes had blanks for the information, which was copied from the board to the label. Completed sets of eight boxed boards were again boxed in a larger box, which was labeled with the content part numbers, revisions and so on.

As an aside, the next stop for the boxes was the shipping department and, finally, phone company offices around the country. Called offices, they were more of a precursor to today’s data centers. The build-out was a result of the US government forcing the phone company to break itself into regional businesses.

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material gains
People are Staying Away from Work after Covid. The Next Industrial Revolution Wants Them Back.
Industry 5.0 promises a more humanistic approach to production.
It has been over a year since governments began lifting restrictions on citizens’ movements to resuscitate their economies, and some 18 months since the Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal in March 2021, sending global shipping activities into spasm.

But supply chains today are in critical condition. Assets and materials are in the wrong places around the world, factories are struggling to resume normal activities, and large numbers of people are simply not working, having either not returned to work after the pandemic or become part of what is now termed the Great Resignation, or the Big Quit. Some 20 million workers around the world, in the largest and most advanced economies, have left their posts, citing factors such as burnout, pressures at home and isolation, and feeling unvalued by their companies.

This is not the “new normal” we all expected. A major shift is taking place as peoples’ attitudes, desires and priorities have fundamentally changed.

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the flexperts

What’s Wrong With My Stack?

The IPC slash sheets simplify communicating design intent.

IT IS COMMON to see a drawing with a stackup that identifies all the materials used to build a board. The designer selects foil and dielectric types and thicknesses, and in many cases may even call out glass weaves and specific brands. And why not? It is their design, and it is natural to want to control it. As a designer, it makes sense to be as clear and as complete as possible, right?

Specifying a particular material is required in some instances to get a particular performance attribute. In many cases, however, performance levels can be achieved with a variety of material selections.

It is common to want to call out a specific prepreg because it has been modeled to achieve certain signal integrity performance. Often several materials, however, can accomplish the same result. Sometimes the manufacturer can offer a solution that helps manage cost. In other cases, the manufacturer may need to use a different glass weave/resin combination to achieve a good, void-free lamination. This can impact dielectric thickness between layers and the resultant impedance lines.

Recognizing Excellence


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Circuits Assembly

DEADLINE October 21, 2022

industrial digitalization
7 Key Drivers of Change in Product Design Today
A study of nearly 300 companies reveals shifting approaches to hardware and software. by John McMillan
How are companies addressing digital transformation, ever-increasing design complexity and the effects of a post-pandemic world on tech companies amid the so-called “Great Resignation?” This year, our technology-led analyst firm, Lifecycle Insights, conducted an in-depth independent study to learn more about and better understand what the coming years hold for engineering. The survey collected responses from 274 companies that design products across all major industries, with revenues ranging from $1 million to over $5 billion.

To say the Covid-19 pandemic is having lingering effects on how companies are operating in the “new normal” of a post-pandemic world is a tremendous understatement. Technology continues to advance rapidly in a time of historic levels of digital transformation. Evolving markets for electric vehicles, IoT devices, 6G, miniaturization, and more are increasing the need for systems and product design flows and tool capabilities without pause. Digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are terms we use daily, and product and systems design flows developed to accelerate first-pass design success are continually evolving.

Fischer Technology
HDI Design
Microvia Reliability Testing
Utilizing D-Coupons to Understand Best Design Practice
A study of the influence of design parameters that impact success. by Kevin Kusiak and Scott Bowles
A microvia is defined in IPC-T-50M as “a blind structure (as plated) with a maximum aspect ratio of 1:1 when measured in accordance with Figure 1, terminating on or penetrating a target land, with a total depth (X) of no more than 0.25mm [0.00984 in] measured from the structure’s capture land foil to the target land.”

Advantages to using microvias in PCB design include but are not limited to signal integrity, routing real estate, and pin escape. The most common reason that drives designs to use microvias is the need to escape the pins of a fine-pitch part. As pin pitch on an integrated circuit (IC) is reduced, the design starts to approach a threshold where mechanically drilled vias are not possible. When this happens, other routing solutions such as microvias are required. Use of area array components with a pitch of less than 0.8mm will very likely require the use of microvias to escape the pins of the component, and these components are becoming common in high-reliability electronics such as space hardware and military/defense products. Another advantage is microvias can be used to make connections between two adjacent layers, thus saving a significant amount of routing real estate by not requiring a via that spans multiple layers as a mechanically drilled via typically would. And microvias help with signal integrity of high-speed digital or radio frequency (RF) circuits. At higher frequencies designs can be very sensitive to signal reflection caused by via stubs, and microvias may be required to mitigate signal integrity issues.

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Assembly Rework
Cold Underfill Component Removal
Newly developed, dedicated purpose precision milling machinery simplifies rework. by Bob Wettermann
BGAs, CSPs, flip chips and other component packages on handheld devices are commonplace today in consumer, military, and industrial products such as tablets, smartwatches, and handheld computers. These handheld products, along with transmission control modules, cameras and image sensors in the automotive sector, use underfill to withstand mechanical shock or impact that takes place when devices are dropped or struck. Underfilling these component packages creates a compliant layer between the package and printed circuit board that increases the reliability of the interconnections even when subjected to outside forces.

Underfill is a polymeric material used to fill the gap between the PCB and underside of the electronic component package, thereby surrounding and protecting the solder joints. This material boosts the reliability of the component, which is subject to mechanical impacts and shocks by distributing the forces. Thermal stresses caused by the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatch between the component and PCB are lessened using underfill. Typically, underfills have a high modulus (E) matched CTE with respect to the solder, as well as a high glass transition temperature (Tg). Underfill dampens and distributes the stress more uniformly on the solder joints, thereby increasing interconnection reliability. As pitch of components such as CSPs becomes tighter, the standoff height between the bottom of the device and PCB lessens, thereby reducing the PCB level reliability.1

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SCREEN printing
Stencil Nanocoatings, Only Better

A high-performing stencil printing process deposits the right amount of material volume in the right place, at the right time, and at the lowest cost per print achievable. Every assembly professional strives for this utopia, leaving no solder paste stuck in the apertures or smeared on the underside of the stencil. Naturally, with all the variables, this state is difficult to achieve 100% of the time. A perfect gasket (board to stencil) does not exist in the electronics manufacturing real world. Transfer efficiency is managed through aperture designs to provide the desired material volume on the pad, and solder paste smear (or its potential) is alleviated by cleaning the underside of the stencil between prints to avoid bridging. Cleaning, of course, comes at a cost – both in consumables use and in production time. If more high-quality prints can be achieved between necessary cleans, consumables overhead will be lower and throughput will be higher. Stencil nanocoatings have helped to meet these objectives. The coatings are fluxophobic materials proven to prevent paste and flux from adhering to the stencil surface or inside apertures, keeping the underside of the stencil relatively free from unwanted material and, in some cases, encouraging better material release.

Stencil nanocoatings arrived on the electronics assembly scene over a decade ago, first as self-applied wipe-on materials and then as professionally applied (at the stencil manufacturer) spray coatings. Regardless of the application mechanism, the end goal was the same: to improve material transfer efficiency, reduce solder paste smear and build-up on the stencil underside and, through these capabilities, increase print cycles between understencil cleans while also raising print reliability. And they’ve worked as intended. As miniaturization has accelerated over the past decade, thin, polymer stencil coatings have become standard protocol for many operations, particularly for applications with very small dimensions and tight interspaces. While coatings are likely here to stay, their durability could stand some improvement.

Off The Shelf typography
Off The Shelf typography
Machines Materials Tools Systems Software
Antenova Agosti Corner-Placement Antenna
Agosti (SR4G080) miniature surface mount antenna for GNSS applications measures 9.0 x 5.8 x 1.7mm and operates with exceptional efficiency in a reduced space on a corner of a PCB. Operates well on small ground planes of 40 x 20mm, 70 x 25mm and 80 x 30mm, for small form factor designs. Integrates and coexists with other antennas within the same device.
R&S FSV and FSVA Signal and Spectrum Analyzer

R&S FSV and FSVA Signal and Spectrum Analyzers

FSV3050 and FSVA3050 signal and spectrum analyzer family are for 5G NR testing, supporting full FR2 frequency range up to 52.6GHz. FSV is designed to set up complex measurements in the simplest and fastest way. Easy usability, high measurement speed and up to 200MHz analysis bandwidth. For labs and production lines. FSVA has a high dynamic range and phase noise of -127dBc/Hz (f_center = 1GHz, 10kHz offset). The 1GHz analysis bandwidth enables highly demanding measurement applications such as linearizing power amplifiers, capturing short events and characterizing frequency agile signals.
Rohde & Schwarz
Vishay Fred Pt Gen 5 600V Rectifiers
Vishay Fred Pt Gen 5 600V Rectifiers
Fred Pt Gen 5 600 V Ultrafast rectifiers come in TO-244 packages and in IF of 240A, 300A, 480A and 600A. Are designed to increase the efficiency of medium frequency power converters and of hard- and soft-switched or resonant designs. Have improved efficiency for industrial applications, such as high-frequency welding and ballast water management systems. Deliver high-speed, high-temperature operation. Offer Qrr down to 260°C typical, recovery time down to 52ns, and an operating temperature range up to +175°C.
Vishay Intertechnology
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Technical Abstracts
In Case You Missed It
Electronics Recycling
“Conductive Ink with Circular Life Cycle for Printed Electronics”

Authors: Junpyo Kwon, Christopher DelRe, et al.

Abstract: Electronic waste carries energy costs and an environmental burden rivaling that of plastic waste due to the rarity and toxicity of the heavy-metal components. Recyclable conductive composites are introduced for printed circuits formulated with polycaprolactone (PCL), conductive fillers and enzyme/protectant nanoclusters. Circuits can be printed with flexibility (breaking strain ≈80%) and conductivity (≈2.1 × 104 S m−1). These composites are degraded at the end of life by immersion in warm water with programmable latency. Approximately 94% of the functional fillers can be recycled and reused with similar device performance. The printed circuits remain functional and degradable after shelf storage for at least seven months at room temperature and one month of continuous operation under electrical voltage. The present studies provide composite design toward recyclable and easily disposable printed electronics for applications such as wearable electronics, biosensors and soft robotics. (Advanced Materials, May 2022,

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Thanks for reading our October 2022 issue!