Screaming Circuits: August 2008

0201 and The Blind Via

0201 size passives can help drop down a PCB form factor, but to really get the most compression, you need to get rid of all of the traces.

One way would be to put little transceivers on each lead of the part. In fact, if you did that, you wouldn't even need a PCB. You could just dump all of the parts in a little bag. But, you'd then have to come put with a whole new protocol, a way of transmitting power, yada, yada, yada. Okay. In my dreams.

But, you can get rid of the traces - or at least hide them with blind and buried vias. (Note - don't even think about using open vias. Don't - even - think - about - it!!!) Get a real good board house and have all of your traces inside of the PCB connected to the pads with blind vias. You can scrunch that board down real good, or just use all the extra space for a handy, dandy ground plane.

Something to consider though: It's tough enough to build a board like this and rework is really, really icky. Make sure you leave enough space for assembly and be very careful to avoid problems that would cause rework.

Duane Benson
Now on the planet Shrinky Dinky...

New Machines

Selective_solder_machine_int_400 We've just added an exciting new piece of equipment. All of the attention these days goes to surface mount and tiny, tiny parts. We do a whole lot of those but we all still deal with a lot of through-hole parts too.

We see a lot of through hole connectors. That's probably the most common things we get with pointy leads. We still see through-hole DIP ICs, passives, LEDs and things of that sort too.

Most of those through-hole parts were previously hand-soldered here. Sometimes we'll send them through the wave. Now, we have a third option. We've recently added a new selective solder machine. This allows for more accurate and faster soldering of a good mix of components on boards that don't lend themselves to being wave soldered. It will helpe us improve our quality and keep up with turn-times.

Duane Benson
You know the nearer your depletion, the more you're selective soldering away

Holiday Closing

Labor_day Hey all - we'll be closed on Labor day, September 1. The holiday will not count toward your turn-time. This means that if we have all of your files and parts Friday, the 29th by 10:00 AM, a 24 hour turn will ship out on Tuesday, the second.

Duane Benson
Work hard. Live long and prosper.

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