Reading time ( words)
I am home from another IPC APEX EXPO. I have been going to these things for more than 38 years, and I learn something each year.
I spent most of Monday attending the Design Forum, which is a set of classes specifically targeted at PCB designers. Up first was Dana Korf, an old hand at tooling and front-end engineering. He presented “Printed Circuit Board Factory 4.0,” a comprehensive program he and others are undertaking to develop a completely digital fabrication data package in a single .XML file, as outlined in Figure 1. The unfortunate truth is that less than 10% of all new orders arrive at the PCB fabricator’s facility with complete, accurate design data; most have missing or incorrect data. Another big issue is that a lot of the preliminary or front-end information is in the form of drawings and specifications that require reading and interpreting, and sometimes even further investigation, as it is often conflicting data. Dana wants all this data to be digital to drive a modern Industry 4.0 factory.
Dana went over the progress since the 1970s culminating in the current IPC-2581 standard, and additional software added to cover what the OEM is sending and what the factory needs.
The digital modernization covered information for the BOM (ECAD and MCAD), mechanical fabrication, stackup, material requirements, impedance requirements, plating and surface finish, artwork, drawings, notes and requirements for acceptability. This information can support the requirements of the enterprise business system PLM/ERP.
To read the full version of this article which originally appeared in the Show & Tell Magazine, click here.
Chang Fei Yee, Keysight Technologies
This article briefly introduces the 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) and its application in 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE), to support the booming data traffic volume in conjunction with the deployment of 5G mobile communications. Furthermore, this article also highlights the essential pre-layout effort from signal integrity perspective for physical (PHY) link design on a PCB, including material selection, transmission line design and channel simulation to support 56Gbps data rate that paves the way for seamless communication in 400GbE.
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
During the Design Forum at IPC APEX EXPO 2018, Jan Pedersen, senior technical advisor for the PCB broker Elmatica, gave a presentation on CircuitData. The language is designed to help facilitate other design data transfer formats such as Gerber, ODB++, and IPC-2581. Jan spoke with Managing Editor Andy Shaughnessy and Contributing Technical Editor Happy Holden about how this open language works with the existing data formats, as well as the need to eliminate paper documents from design process, and how the industry can help shape this open-source language.
Andy Shaughnessy, PCBDesign007
I had the opportunity to talk with our contributor Doug Brooks recently. He has been doing some research on temperature effects on PCB traces over the last few years, and I wanted to check the status of his latest thermal efforts. He discussed his work with Dr. Johannes Adam, why temperature charts based on a trace in isolation are inaccurate, and how the industry remained so wrong about PCB temperatures for so long.