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Bringing boards to life

Developments in pcb materials and techniques abound – but how to use them to bring a board to life? By Vanessa Knivett.

With functionality driving a higher level of integration, advanced manufacturing techniques – typically required by high speed and more specialised designs – are gaining wider interest and appeal. For example, whilst the board space constraints of high speed digital systems have necessitated the use of microvia technology (typically, vias with a diameter of less than 0.5mm), more general designs are now employing the technology. This has led to the process developing from controlled depth drilling to the use of more advanced laser ablation techniques as pcb manufacturers attempt to meet the aspect ratio requirements of today's multilayer backplanes.

Whilst microvia technology has been around for about 10 to 15 years, it took a number of years before designers began using the technology widely. Now, however, there are signs that the microvia is running out of steam.

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Graham Pitcher

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