PCB Design could be changed forever

Carbon Nanotubes replace Solder Pads

Recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology could change the way Printed Circuit Boards, PCBs, are made and this could start happening soon. If you either the Design PCBs or Manufacture PCBs then you will want to keep up with this new technology that uses Nanotape PCB Pads .

 

Here is a picture showing how the NanoTape structures differ from conventional Solder Pads. Although they look the same from the outside, the internal geometry shows the higher thermal and electrical conduction created by the Carbon Nanotubes. This can significantly help in product miniaturisation and for high power designs where both the enhanced thermal and electrical performance will improve the efficiency.

NanoTape replaces solder pads

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like all new technologies, there will be teething problems but this has the potential to overcome the Tin Whisker issues that plagued PCBs before the introduction of Lead to Solder and which have emerged again with the move to RoHS compliance and the use of Lead Free Solder.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile at Ray Keefe. This post is Copyright © 2011 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Innovative PCB Artistic Creations

Today’s post comes hot on the heels of my viewing something really special. A member of one of my LinkedIn groups, Steven Rodrig, has used his artistic imagination to create some really amazing pieces of Technology Art from PCBs and Electronic Components.

 

Please check it out at PCB Creations

 

And here is just one example to inspire you to check out his website at the link above.

PCB Roach - an example of technology art

PCB Roach – an example of technology art

The other great thing about this is that it was done using left over materials that would otherwise have been thrown away. A great example of waste reduction that actually makes it a huge positive. Now I am wondering what we have lying around here that I could do something more useful with? I hope you are inspired as well.

 

Innovation is a word that is used a lot, and sometimes we forget that it means to do or think differently in some way. So this is truly innovative use of Technology such as Electronics and PCBs.

 

You can also

 

Thanks for creating these Steven.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

The Future of Low Cost Electronics Manufacture

High End Electronics

In the early days Electronics was hand wired on a chassis. Some high end valve amplifiers still do this.

 

But of course this isn’t very compact. For those who didn’t know, I am a guitarist and use a Carvin MTS3212 Master Tube Series tube amplifier which I still enjoy very much. So when compact isn’t a priority and cost isn’t as important as the sound, then you go for this sort of amplifier. This is another example of the trade-offs we discussed in the Project Priorities Perspective where it’s about Performance and Cost is the lowest priority.

 

 

Low Cost Electronics Manufacture

For Low Cost Electronics Manufacture however, there are other factors that come into play. You want quality and you want it in a timely manner but the cost has to be low so that you have a decent profit margin. So hand wiring is out because that is expensive.

 

Very well designed Printed Circuit Board PCB can produce excellent results and with the move to Surface Mount Technology SMT and the Surface Mount Device SMD the Component Loading Cost is also reduced as components are put in place by machines and there are no leads or tails to trim after soldering. So this really helps with Electronics Manufacturing Cost and for at least the next little while will remain the way to go.

 

Another strategy for reducing cost is to use a modern Integrated Circuit IC because you can fit more functions into a more complex device and although it sometimes costs more for that individual device, you can reduce cost by removing other devices, reducing size and reducing loading and handling costs.

 

Reducing size reduces cost because you get more Printed Circuit Boards on a Panel and the cost of a panel in general is roughly the same regardless of how many PCBs there are on it.

 

 

Emerging Electronics Technologies

But the future is approaching and there are some very interesting developments under way. These involve Organic Semiconductors and Printable Electronic Circuits. Check out the following links:

 

printable electronics – a game changer

 

printable electronics on the rise

 

printable electronics to surpass $7 billion in 2010

 

Organic Semiconductors

 

I was particularly interested in the idea that the number 1 piece of equipment purchased by universities and Research and Development corporations conducting Electronics Research would be an inkjet printer! And did you notice the convergence between these 2 Low Cost Electronics Technologies?

 

We are in for interesting times indeed when you can design your circuit and then prototype it on your printer.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.