January 2024 Newsletter



Happy New Year, members!

We continue our member webinar series this month, with presentations on thermal management and the impact of artificial intelligence on electronics.

On January 17, Doug Brooks and Dr. Johannes Adam will present Via and Trace Currents and Temperatures.. Rather than thinking of current density, the presenters say, focus on material parameters and properties that determine the temperature of a trace and how these are calculated. Results of some simulations of vias of varying widths and amps will be shown.

And on January 23, a special panel of domain experts will debate AI in Electronics. Artificial intelligence has made its way into ECAD and other software used in electronics manufacturing. But what’s the actual intelligence in these tools? And in what ways — and how soon — can we expect them to impact our roles? Experts from a handful of key ECAD companies will offer a snapshot of where we are, what’s feasible, and the forecasted timeline for implementation.

Past webinars can be seen on our YouTube channel or at Printed Circuit University. The most recent addition is from December, when Tony Senese and Eriko Yamato of Panasonic presented PCB Material Properties – Considerations for Design and Manufacturing.

All webinars include time for audience questions. To register, visit the PCEA Events page.. Be sure to click on the “Register now here” link. You will receive an email confirmation for the event; if you do not receive a confirmation, you are not registered.

We are also excited to announce registration is open for PCB East 2024. This year’s technical conference features more than 75 hours’ of training for all experience levels. And stay tuned for a special addition: the UHDI Forum.

Finally, this month we welcome Will Bruwer as our new senior sales executive. Will joins us from CBT News, where he served as director of sales for all media solutions across the CBT News platform with strong emphasis on digital, video/interviews, and custom media. He has 20 years’ experience in media sales and is a Navy veteran and a graduate of Georgia State University.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

Please forward your chapter news to pcea@pcea.net for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

Portland: On Jan. 11 from 3 to 4pm Eastern, the Portland Chapter will host an online presentation: Establishing Design Rules for the Laser Depaneling of Printed Circuit Boards, by Stephan Schmidt. All PCEA members are invited to attend.

Upcoming conferences:

  • *PCB East 2024: June 4-7 in the Boston suburbs.
  • PCB West: October 8-11 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. Abstracts are now being accepted at pcbwest.com.

PCEA Training. PCEA will hold Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and certification classes as follows:

Classes currently scheduled for 2024 are as follows:

  • Feb. 5 – March 4
  • April 5 – May 3
  • June 14 – 28

More classes will be scheduled for later in the year. Learn more at pceatraining.net.

Reading Material

Highlights of the recent issues of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

  • Electrical and thermodynamic parallels. Most designers have exposure to the fundamentals of electrical engineering principles, but most have almost no exposure to thermodynamic fundamentals, which can be just as important. A presentation of parallel information on the two disciplines that board designers can use to understand the basic principles of thermodynamics that they often have to deal with.
  • Signal integrity. How to calculate transmission line impedance with dispersion and roughness, no field solver needed!
  • Depaneling. Establishing design rules for laser depaneling of printed circuit boards.
  • Ultrasonic wirebonding. Wirebond technology’s flexibility gives it a major advantage as an interconnect method, but its durability is lost in open-air applications. Here, the authors look at ultrasonic wirebonding as currently used in EV battery packs, where they are vulnerable to breakage due to vibration in part because they are not encapsulated.
  • Who owns the fakes? AI design brings questions of ownership.
  • The benefits of internal benchmarking. Look within for improvements.
  • Sintered copper can handle the pressure. The ability to electrically connect two cores or sub-laminated sections together without drilling through the entire section and then going through the plating process can be both a significant time- and cost-saver on the manufacturing side, as well as a huge win for the designer.

Read it all here.

Have an idea for an article? Contact us at pcea@pcea.net. No writing experience required!

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