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Freedom CAD has been designing and fabricating boards with embedded technology for years, and doing some innovative work along the way. I asked Scott McCurdy, Freedom CAD’s director of sales and marketing, to share some details about their embedded processes, as well as the challenges and opportunities that embedded technology offers.
Andy Shaughnessy: Scott, I know that Freedom CAD has some experience with embedded technology. Tell us a little about that. Do you do a lot of embedded work?
Scott McCurdy: We see increasing use of buried capacitance cores in the designs we do for our customers. This technology has been around for many years, but there are thinner materials available today that use thin film dielectrics instead of woven fabrics. There are many benefits for integrating embedded capacitance layers into board designs for improving the power delivery network. Our signal integrity engineer believes strongly that embedded capacitors definitely have a place in today's designs where, at frequencies between 10 and 100MHz, a low-inductance energy storage strategy can actually reduce the number of low-value caps needed on a board.
Shaughnessy: That’s interesting. And I understand you’ve done some embedded capacitance designs with FaradFlex material.
McCurdy: Yes, we have several customers who spec this Oak-Mitsui Technologies FaradFlex material especially in high-speed telecom applications. DuPont and 3M make materials for embedded capacitance applications, as well. These thin film type materials have thinner dielectrics than woven fabric which provides additional benefits.
Shaughnessy: Does Freedom CAD do any buried resistor designs?
McCurdy: We have very little experience with buried resistors, mostly because our customer base isn’t asking for this. However, as product miniaturization continues, I’m certain that industry will have to embrace the use of embedded resistor technologies. It’s another method of freeing up surface space and increasing performance and reliability. Some of the CAD design vendors have software tools for designing embedded resistor layers. Ticer Technologies and Ohmega Technologies make great materials for this.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the June 2017 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.