The Superconductive Circuit Board

    Aluminum Trace Printed Circuit Board Innovation

    The journey to develop a circuit board which features aluminum circuitry (Aluminum PCBs ) has been challenging.

    Beginning in 2008, Omni Circuit boards was challenged by a strategic partner with developing a circuit board with fine-line aluminum traces. The reason for aluminum in the initial quest was for its superconducting (cryogenic) properties. But as time went by, we began to appreciate how developing this capability could also benefit customers who have a requirement for aluminum wire bonding of critical components.

    Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Odd Layer PCB Boards

    Our cookbook of PCB recipes includes an assortment of odd layer PCBs.

    About 8% of PCB boards we are asked to produce are comprised of an odd number of layers. But unless you have a specific requirement, it is usually best to design a multilayer board with an even number of layers. Reducing an even layered board by one layer may seem like a cost-saving move, but from a PCB perspective it is not. It may actually increase the cost as well as lead-time and leave you with a warped PCB board which may not meet your expectations. Let's look at the issues in detail.

    Understanding PCB Manufacturing: Impedance Control

    Printed circuit boards with impedance requirements demand a high level of precision.

    Image courtesy of Zmetrix

    For standard circuit boards, a PCB manufacturer is given a set of patterns - copper patterns, hole patterns, ink patterns, which are combined into a single circuit board with all the pattern sizes and positions within certain tolerances. Failure to meet a certain size or position with the specified tolerance can be cause for the circuit board to be rejected. If a trace has been defined as an impedance control trace, it is not the trace size which is strictly defined, but rather the impedance. While a nominal trace size will be provided in the Gerber layer, it is understood the circuit board manufacturer can vary trace width, height, and dielectric thickness as long as the final impedance is within tolerance.