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Next-Generation Electronics and PCBs Will Require Smaller Capacitors

There is a lot of talk going on in consumer electronics and the engineering industry about the “next generation” of products in development. From ultra-HD displays to smaller and faster personal electronics, the future of the industry may rely on the quality and capability of smaller and smaller capacitors. Researchers from the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan say that they have developed a new way to shrink capacitors even further than they are now using the materials available. The result can add more power to PCBs and usher in higher-performance devices sooner than expected. The difference between existing nanocapacitors and the “ultrathin” capacitors the NIMS team is developing is that the new capacitors use layers of oxide nanosheets in a gentler process under mild conditions.

Have PCBs Reached Their Performance Limit?

Until new methods such as ultrathin capacitors make their way into the marketplace, developers and manufacturers of PCBs are finding that the materials and processes available today are reaching the performance limit of circuit boards. Continuing to research new methods to add energy storage and processing power will allow manufacturers to deliver the PCBs that can be used in the consumer products and business applications of the future. With this new technology, it is a good idea for engineers and engineering students to study the intricacies in order to be able to fully implement them in applications down the road. Learn more about the current state of the PCB industry and the newest capabilities of your PCB manufacturer by getting in contact with an expert at Advanced Circuits.

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Top Reasons to Recycle Old Electronics and Printed Circuit Boards

Doing your part to protect the environment as both an individual and a part of your company will allow us all to conserve valuable resources, reduce energy consumption and create a brighter path for our future. By recycling old electronics and printed circuit boards we can achieve these goals. Electronics are made with chemicals and materials that are hazardous to the environment when not disposed of properly, which is why many states make it illegal to dump electronics in with regular trash. If these items make their way into a landfill they will just sit there, allowing the chemicals to potentially seep into the soil or get into water supplies. Recycling old PCBs and electronics that you no longer have use for will allow you to meet regulations and ensure that the items are properly disposed of.

Salvaging Parts and Printed Circuit Boards to Use in New Applications

When you are working on a new project it can be beneficial to find printed circuit boards and components from your old electronics that you may be able to repurpose. This lets you test out your application in the early stages and work on your overall project design before ordering PCBs that are built specifically for your new needs. Of course, reusing older parts will cut down on your costs. However, it may also limit you in terms of features and functionality moving forward. Recycling your old PCBs and designing new advanced ones in their place will help you unlock the potential of your application as it continues in its development.

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Identifying the Source of PCB Corrosion

Being able to determine the cause of corrosion on a printed circuit board assembly will allow you to be able to both clean up the corrosion and prevent further issues from arising. Contamination can be caused from a variety of sources, including packaging, installation, the environment and the application itself. There are a number of steps that you can take to find the culprit on your PCB and remove it. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) can help determine the elemental composition of the corrosion. When you are able to identify the chemicals present in the corroded area and compare them to those that you expect to be present in the soldermask you can use process of elimination to find the offending elements. This will allow you to take the necessary corrective action to fix your circuit board.

Understanding the Composition of Your PCB

Working with materials that are not harmful to the environment is extremely important in order to conserve resources and energy associated with PCB production. Contacting your PCB manufacturer and assembly company will allow you to get information on lead-free initiatives and the assembly process so that you can be sure you get the PCBs you need that will work as designed in your application. The type of laminate and board material you use for your circuit boards can also help you meet industry regulations and applicable laws in your area. Contact an expert at Advanced Circuits today to get more information about the composition of your printed circuit boards and see ways that you can benefit from more environmentally friendly options.

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PCB and Tech Trends for 2014

With the New Year finally here it is time to take a look at the tech industry as a whole and start to project what the biggest trends will be in 2014. As we saw at the end of 2013, consumer electronics will undoubtedly continue to grow in terms of power and functionality. As such, printed circuit boards and PCB manufacturers are expanding their capabilities to give the world technology it has never seen before. Consumers in 2014 can expect larger tablets to be announced and higher resolutions coming to all of their devices, televisions included. Both the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup will be filmed in 4K, the Ultra HD resolution that is already in trial stages in South Korea. Wearable technology will also get more sophisticated this year as watches, glasses and other items gain the ability to monitor and track vital information that is important to us. Whether it is with new devices hitting the market or technologies and processes that allow us to get the most out of our lives, 2014 appears to be another giant step forward for the industry.

Role of the PCB in Future Smartphones

In addition to helping smartphones incorporate all of the features that consumers want, printed circuit boards are also helping usher in all of the design changes in the field. As the PCB continues to pack more power in a smaller space, smartphones will likely get smaller in size. Industry experts predict that smartphones will be strictly composed of PCBs bonded together as a plastic block in order to make the device thinner, lighter, flexible and connector-less. At any rate, it is safe to say that circuit board designers and manufacturers hold the key to the future of smartphone design and capability.

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Printed Circuit Board Design Tips for Easy Assembly

When you are in the process of designing your PCBs, you are undoubtedly looking for ways to minimize cost without sacrificing quality. That is why it is important to keep a few printed circuit board tips in mind in order to help you simplify assembly and get the PCBs you need. Use a good drawing package that locates components you are using on your PCB and consult your manufacturer to ensure the finish you chose will work best with their assembly process. When it is necessary to have components on both sides of your PCB you will want to keep your sensitive, heavy or through-hole components on the primary side. In addition, any components that need special attention should be on the primary side as well.

Automated vs. Hand Assembly for Your Printed Circuit Board

Whether you choose automated or hand assembly for your printed circuit board order, the choice will ultimately affect your budget and production time. If you have a low volume of PCBs that you need manufactured, assembly by hand is a viable option. However, a high volume run may require automated assembly because it can be more cost efficient. Also consider the fact that the volume of your run is not only determined by the number of PCBs you order but also the number of components you have on each PCB. Be sure to contact a PCB expert at Advanced Circuits to determine the volume of your run and whether automated or hand assembly is best for your needs.

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CES 2014 Shows the Future of PCBs and Technology

With the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas, the biggest names in technology gather together to show off the latest in technology and products that are tabbed as “the next big thing.” While a lot of products that debut at CES may not gain a strong foothold in the marketplace, it is still interesting to see where technology is headed and what we can expect to see in the future. Especially when it comes to PCBs, engineers and product designers like to see where the industry is headed and the features that consumers expect. Some of the biggest trends at CES 2014 revolved around the interconnectivity of all of the devices we use on a daily basis. From smartwatches to home security systems that we can access from our cars, creating a seamless experience across all platforms will be key for companies moving forward.

How Will PCBs Play a Role in the User Experience?

As previously mentioned, consumer electronics are moving toward creating a unified user experience no matter where a person is. Being able to arm your home security system from your car or transmit driving directions from your smartphone to your vehicle’s GPS unit means that compatible technology will need to be included in these products. PCBs that can handle these components are needed so that users get the functionality they expect and the technology we use can continue to advance. When you are in the process of designing printed circuit boards for your project be sure to check with your manufacturer about their capabilities so that you get the most out of your PCBs.

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What Goes Into the Printed Circuit Board Design Process?

Designing a printed circuit board for a new product or project you are working on is a lot more complicated than you might think. While it may see like all you need to do is use some sort of layout system and schematic capture tool, there are more steps that you will need to go through in order to make sure your PCB comes out exactly as you need. In addition to schematic capture other tools you may uses when designing printed circuit boards include cable and harness capabilities, thermal analysis, power analysis, EMC/EMI analysis, digital and analog simulation and much more. These are just some of the tools that you will need to use in order to ensure that you get the functionality you need for your PCBs to work efficiently in your intended application.

Simplifying the Process of Printed Circuit Board Design

By working with professional design tools and software you will get valuable assistance when working on your printed circuit board. You can also get the help of PCB experts if you have any questions during the process. When you use the free tools available from Advanced Circuits you also get to use a streamlined system that easily takes you through the steps from PCB design to manufacturing to assembly. This way you will be able to get the PCBs you need for your product or project on your schedule without delay. Get started by contacting an expert at Advanced Circuits today so you can be on the way to high-quality results.

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Future Defense Applications for Printed Circuit Boards

PCB manufacturers are already able to produce circuit boards that meet the high demands of aerospace and defense companies. As the needs of these applications continue to get more advanced, printed circuit boards may need to go a step further. According to Gen. Robert Cone, the Army is considering reducing the size of certain teams and replacing soldiers with drones and robots. As a result, production of PCBs will undoubtedly rise. Circuit boards will need to be able to connect high-powered components, run at a high level in extreme conditions be versatile enough to be used however the defense industry needs. While engineering capabilities continue to get more impressive each day, official remarks pointing to the adoption of robots on this scale will likely jumpstart the development processes for PCB makers around the world.

Ensuring Printed Circuit Boards Meet Quality Standards

One of the most important things for defense contractors and companies to consider moving forward is how they will ensure that they are getting quality printed circuit boards. With so much riding on these advanced applications, for instance the success or failure of a military operation, they will need to work with PCB manufacturers that demonstrate repeated results. Advanced Circuits understands this and continually strives to meet the strict standards set in order to hold current certifications for each. You can learn more about the materials, manufacturing processes and quality assurance systems used by contacting a representative today. That way you will be able to design your next application and circuit boards knowing that you are getting the PCBs you need the first time.

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High-Performance Laminate Needs for PCBs

A new study conducted by Research and Markets takes a look at PCB, material and interconnect trends and the needs for electronics assemblies for high-speed applications. This study, titled “Opportunities in the Supply Chain for High-Speed Electronics, 2012-2018”, explores the implications surrounding next-gen architectures and the supply chain as data rates increase. As devices and systems gain the capacity to support high-performance operations, new laminates will be needed for PCBs. In addition, components that offer advanced signal integrity, interconnect density and thermal management will also come into play. Consumers have seen much of this growth in the wireless communication sector, namely with tablet devices and new smartphones that continue to pack in features and hardware while improving performance and speed. The study also takes a look at laminates available now as well as forecasts for laminates and PCBs to 2018.

Choosing the Right Laminate for Your PCBs

Deciding on the right laminate for your PCBs is an important part of the design process. At the end of the day, you need your circuit board to connect all of your components and work efficiently in the intended application. As such, having the right laminate will allow you the functionality that you need and it can also have an effect on your project’s budget. When you are in the design stages for your PCB you should research the laminates that will work best and check with your manufacturer to ensure that the laminate you choose is compatible with their manufacturing and assembly process. If you have any questions you can contact an expert at Advanced Circuits to get the answers you’re looking for.

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Challenges the PCB Industry Will Face this Decade

A new report from Research and Markets, titled “Global Printed Circuit Board Industry 2012-2017: Trends, Profits and Forecast Analysis,” was recently released. In addition to giving an outlook on the growth of the PCB industry, the report also looks at various challenges that circuit board manufacturers can expect to face in the coming years. It is no secret that consumers have come to demand the latest and greatest in terms of what their technology can offer them. In addition to communication devices, such as smartphones and tablets, the industry is seeing even more innovation in watches, music equipment and the capabilities of digital photography, among others. This creates the challenge for PCB manufacturers that must keep up with the latest product design trends in order to help other companies make those next steps in the marketplace. The combination of factors such as the recession in the global economy and the change in prices for various raw materials will also play a role in whether PCB companies will succeed moving forward.

PCB Design Leads to Quality and Efficiency

The design of your printed circuit board undoubtedly plays a major role in whether or not you get the performance you need out of your application. Your PCB design should be simple so that your components can be easily affixed to the board and fit nicely into the rest of your product. In addition, you want to be able to design boards that are thoroughly tested before shipment so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you will not run into an error. Contact an expert at your PCB manufacturer in order to get tips for how to optimize your design and the testing process so you can seamlessly design, order and receive your circuit boards without hassle.

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