Reading time ( words)
In the early ‘80s, the PCB company I worked for was testing some of the first material for buried resistors. I can’t recall what customer it was for, or how far along the project got, but over the years it seemed like the technology was slow to be adopted and perhaps ahead of its time. Now, a lot of years later, embedded technology seems to be finally coming into its own—thanks to Moore’s Law and the ever-pressing need for more real estate on the circuit board surface. No longer just for the odd, expensive military product, buried components can be found in that most ubiquitous of consumer products, the smartphone, as you will learn in this issue. Who knew!
Back then, there were only buried resistors and from what I understand, the material was not cheap. Most uses involved either a need for extraordinary reliability or there was enough savings in reduced layers or improved abilities that would justify the cost. But there are other types of passives as well as buried active components. And the justifications are more complicated: signal integrity, greatly improved imaging capability which means more accurate resistive values, and always space, as in the required surface area of a circuit board.
We thought we would find out from our readers just how “popular” this technology really was. After all, as circuits get denser and lines/ spaces get smaller, it stands to reason that burying components would be an increasing requirement and they would be part of every complicated multilayer. From our recent survey, we learned that more than half the respondents saw very little embedded technology work and about 5% worked with it a great deal (
To read the full version of this article which appeared in the June 2017 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
In the news this week we found a synchrony of topics. Much of the world is aware of the speaking points from U.S. President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address this past Tuesday. In that speech, President Biden talked prominently about U.S. legislation in process to bring more technology manufacturing back to the states. In fact, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was not only an invited guest, but was referred to directly in the speech as a positive example. I can only assume that President Biden meant that moment to be a motivator for other CEOs in the industry.
Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Continuing the highly successful series of EIPC’s Technical Snapshots, and featuring a programme that attracted a record attendance, the 14th online event was held on January 19. The opening presentation came from the ever-cheerful Didrik Bech, of Elmatica, who promised to provide thoughts and ideas about how to secure the supply chain to ensure compliance, not only to reduce the risks but also to increase the opportunities. Stan Heltzel from ESA Materials and Processes Section in the Netherlands gave a fascinating detailed insight into ESA’s approach to microvia reliability. And Liisa Hakola, senior scientist and project manager at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland gave the final presentation on how sustainability creates new opportunities for electronics industry.
Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
It’s always great to see two very good companies form a mutually beneficial alliance. I was lucky enough to watch this particular strategic partnership come to fruition this year between RBP Chemical and Schlötter. I wanted to talk to both companies, so I sat down with Matthias Hampel, global executive representative-PCB and electronics at Schlötter, and Ernest Litynski, president of RBP Chemical Technology, to get the inside story.