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The Test Connection: Spreading the Word About DFT

December 7, 2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, PCB Design007

As signal speeds continue to increase and feature sizes decrease, PCB designers are beginning to pay greater attention to test and design for test (DFT) strategies. Bert Horner, president of The Test Connection in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is spearheading this drive to show designers the benefits of a solid DFT plan, as well as the downside of not having a test strategy. I met with Bert at PCB Carolina, where he was exhibiting and presenting a paper during the conference. We discussed his presentation, as well as why designers need to understand test and DFT issues, and why we need to see the PCB as one small—but very important—part of the entire system.

Electronics vs. Physics: Why Vias Don’t Get Hot

December 6, 2022 | Douglas Brooks, Consultant, and Johannes Adam, ADAM Research

Most of are aware that when we pass an electrical current through a trace (conductor), the trace will heat up. This temperature increase is caused by the I2R power loss dissipated in the resistance of the trace. The resistance of a copper trace is mostly determined by its geometry (cross-sectional area), and there are lots of studies trying to look at the relationship between the current down a trace (of known size) and the resulting temperature of the trace. But the situation is much more complicated than this. There are physical properties that exist that result in helping to cool the trace. These properties are usually a combination of conduction of the heat away from the trace through the material, convection of the heat away from the trace through the air, and radiation of the heat away from the trace.





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Beyond Design: Forget What You Were Taught

December 1, 2022 | Barry Olney, In-Circuit Design Pty. Ltd.

Ralph Morrison was a physicist who promoted the belief that electromagnetic energy flows in spaces, not the traces. That energy does not flow in the copper traces of a PCB, but rather the energy follows the traces acting as a...

The Pulse: Fitting Physics to Fact

November 28, 2022 | Martyn Gaudion, Polar Instruments

In an ideal world you would use “perfect” materials that behave in a truly predictable way, but the realities of engineering mean that compromise is always needed—and so the desire of the purist for “absolute...

Tim’s Takeaways: What More Do We Need to Know?

November 22, 2022 | Tim Haag, First Page Sage

Although it’s been more years than I care to admit, I still remember very clearly the class on careers that I was required to take in junior high school. On a table in the front of the class were several boxes filled with all...

A Fight to the Physics Featuring:

  • The Physics of PCB Design, a conversation with Eric Bogatin
  • My Experience With Maxwell, by Happy Holden
  • Electronics vs. Physics: Why Vias Don’t Get Hot, by Doug Brooks and Johannes Adam
  • Forget What You Were Taught, by Barry Olney
  • Fitting Physics to Fact, by Martyn Gaudion
  • Physics, Electrical Engineering, and PCB Design, by Tamara Jovanovic
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