February 2024 Newsletter




We have more member webinars to announce this month, plus some upcoming chapter meetings.

This month our special member webinar is on high-performance PCB materials for thermal management. On Feb. 27, Chris Hanson, Pesh Patel and Chad Wood will deliver a one-hour talk on thermal IMS (insulated metal substrate). The term “IMS” refers to PCBs built on a metal (typically aluminum but also copper), which acts as a thermal substrate, while the dielectric adhesive (prepreg) provides high thermal transfer from the components while maintaining dielectric insulation. They can be used to replace direct bonded copper (DBC) substrates for power modules and devices.

The webinar takes place Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. EST. Register here.

We had to reschedule our webinar on AI in Electronics. The new date is March 6. This special panel of domain experts will debate where they consider the actual intelligence in these tools, and the ways – and how soon – they might impact the industry. To register for the AI webinar click here.

All webinars include time for audience questions.

Past webinars can be seen on our YouTube channel or at Printed Circuit University.

Registration for PCB East 2024 is coming along nicely, well ahead of last year’s pace. And watch the website for further details on the special UHDI (ultra HDI) Forum being held concurrently at PCB East.

We expect to be at several events this spring, including the SMTA Dallas Expo and the Del Mar Electronics Show, among others, so please look for us.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

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

New England: The chapter plans a kickoff meeting on May 2, probably in the Andover (MA) area. Among the planned speakers are Gopu Achath of EMA Design Automation on supply chain-driven circuit design and Paul Yang of Jove PCB on embedded inductors. Contact Mike Buetow at mike@pcea.net for details

Silicon Valley: The next chapter meeting is expected to take place in March.

Upcoming conferences:

  • PCB East: 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:

  • 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:

  • Effects of certain materials on conductivity. Some suggest that coating a trace or filling a via cavity can result in significant thermal and/or electrical conductivity improvements, but this is usually not the case. A look at via fillings and trace coatings and the effect that different materials can have on conductivity.
  • An overview of high-density interconnect technology. Production and assembly of HDI PCBs comes with unique technical challenges centered around reliability and quality. An overview of standards and best practices for designing and building HDI PCBs.
  • A Windy City tour. We visit a trio of EMS companies in the Chicago area, each of which specializes in different niches.
  • A new EDA company springs to life. EMA Design Automation recently announced that it will be spinning off its software products for library management, component supply chain data, and other areas into a new company, Accelerated Designs. President Manny Marcano discusses the rationale and plans for the new company.
  • Anatomy of crosstalk. Crosstalk in PCB and packaging interconnects can cause signal degradation that results in costly redesigns, but many designers do not know how to correctly identify its sources and mitigate its effects. An overview of crosstalk sources and terminology, plus models for identifying its effects.
  • WLCSP design. Should the ground connections share vias?
  • Aspect ratio and annular ring in flex circuits. Coupling buried vias with microvias can solve many manufacturing challenges.

Read it all here.

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

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