Connect the Dots: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Technology Today
by Bob Tise
At a recent Sunstone Circuits planning summit, Matt Stevenson, VP of sales and marketing, and I led a wide-ranging discussion about emerging technologies and how they will impact PCB manufacturing. The following is an abridged transcript of this conversation.
Which Industries Have the Most Innovative, New Technology?
Matt Stevenson: One industry we’re seeing a change in is transportation electronics. Battery-powered vehicles, autonomously driven vehicles, additional sensors and gadgets, and a focus on Bluetooth use are all happening in the transportation industry more so now than ever. From a PCB manufacturer standpoint that’s pretty exciting.
Bob Tise: There’s also more complexity because of the functionality requirements. That makes it all the more important to ensure designs are manufacturable and that the boards will perform as needed in their operating environments.
Stevenson: Yes, and these electronics are continuously becoming smaller and faster. Vehicles require circuit boards that can withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, and dirt. After outer space, it’s the most demanding environmental category there is. We need to design for big swings in temperature from Siberia to Dubai. Putting a car in the sun in some places in the world at 250°F (~120°C) is not unheard of in the cabin or under the hood (Figure 2). As more and more electronics are used to operate our cars, the devices in them keep getting smaller. Ensuring the devices do not trade durability for functionality and size is a big challenge for PCB designers and manufacturers.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the April 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.