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Ultra-Miniature - High Reliability Quartz Crystals, Oscillators and Sensors • Highest shock capability in the industry • Military temperature range and beyond • Ultra-low power consumption • High stability and precision EXTREME INNOVATION High Reliability Crystals and Oscillators • Expert technical support • Designed and manufactured in the USA CX16A Medical Military and Industrial Applications CXOX_A CX16 CXOX/HG/HT CXOMK • Excellent long term aging 24 MHz to 50 MHz Crystal 2.0 x 1.2 x 0.4 mm 16 MHz to 250 MHz Crystal 3.2 x 1.5 x 0.5 mm 32.768 kHz to 160 MHz Oscillator 3.2 x 2.5 mm 32.768 kHz to 200 MHz Oscillator CX11A CX11L/HG CXOMK/HG/HT 6.5 x 5.0 mm High-Shock • High-Temperature • High-Precision Military and Avionics | Industrial | Medical MEETING THE EXTREME DEMANDS OF RAPIDLY EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY AS9100C ISO 9001:2008 STATEK CORPORATION 512 N. Main St., Orange, CA 92868 Tel. 714-639-7810 Fax 714-997-1256 www.statek.com Embedding components within PCB substrates By Max Clemons Embedding components within a PCB substrate offers a range of benefits in terms of space and performance. But this alternative approach to product design demands support from the entire supply chain, including EDA vendors. Continued pressure for electronic devices that provide greater functionality in eversmaller form-factors is not only providing the driving force behind developing smaller surface-mount components and semiconductor geometries, but is also fuelling another trend that sees passive and active components being embedded within PCB substrates. It is a trend that has a significant impact on the entire electronics supply chain, a challenge that suppliers at every stage are now striving to meet. Making best use of these developments falls to the design engineering team, who now need access to design automation tools that can offer greater flexibility in the way PCBs are conceived and created. The design rules of this new paradigm present their own challenges and it is here where EDA tools vendors are now focusing their development efforts, in order to enable more OEMs to gain competitive access to this enabling and evolutionary capability. Components There are essentially two methods for embedding components into a substrate: formed or inserted. The former effectively uses patterns of copper plating and resistive thin film to create passive (resistive, capacitive or inductive) components on an embedded (or surface) layer. The latter is the more evolutionary, as it allows discrete components, bare die or even modules to be placed below the surface of the substrate. There are many benefits to this and perhaps most prevalent is the greater component density it offers. An important aspect of this is the increased need for passive components, particularly capacitors which are needed in direct response to higher operating and signal frequencies. This has given rise to a trend to stack components vertically in order to minimise track lengths. Texas Instruments recently brought a 500mA step-down DC-DC converter to market using this method, to create a module measuring just 2.3mm by 2.0mm and just 1.0mm high. Component manufacturers must constantly meet demand for new packaging options when bringing products to market, and the widespread use of surfacemount technology (SMT) — particularly in passive components — lends itself well to embedding components into PCBs. As SMT profiles continue to shrink, these same parts can now be mounted within or directly alongside a die embedded within a PCB; the 01005 (0402) package, for example, measures just 0.4mm by 0.2mm and can be as little as 0.15mm high. However the method used to provide connectivity introduces further requirements. There are essentially two options here; connections formed with traditional soldering, or using copper vias. Max Clemons is Application Engineer at Altium - www.altium.com Fig. 1: A PCB fabrication flow that accommodates embedded components. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe March 2014 37


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