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My business contact list has more than 2500 names. Most of these contacts are affiliated with the printed circuit or electronic material industries. The DKN biweekly newsletter is distributed to every contact in my electronic address book. I do receive a few bounce-back emails with the default message “address not found.” People do leave change jobs and leave their current company for greener pastures (hopefully). Some readers from the distribution list will email us their forwarding contact information. The number of these requests has significantly increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) released the PCB shipments report for the month of August.

The Taiwanese PCB industry can be considered the barometer for global consumer electronics. Shipments during August declined, but let’s take a closer look at the data.

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A marginally larger package would cut design times and improve PCB yields and performance.

Most electronics engineers know there is no 1.1mm BGA or CGA package. Because we are forced to use a 1mm pitch package, we live with tradeoffs. A slight increase in the pitch size, however, could satisfy the needs for today’s high I/O pin count designs.

This conclusion comes from my observations of building Class 3 and aerospace 1mm pitch products, and the challenges, setbacks, redesigns, returned product, and field failures we all endure.

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The Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy.

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How will the pandemic play out in the PCB world?

Here we are, nine months into 2020, with little insight as to how the rest of the year will turn out for printed circuit fabricators. When was the last time that occurred? Perhaps more than a decade ago? The 5G implementation drove revenue gains at the best-performing PCB fabricators last year and are providing a foundation for 2020 as well. Automotive, on the other hand, is sputtering, as car sales have crashed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Who could have seen any of this when the book closed on 2019?

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How to determine the critical length of a signal.

Ed.: The following is excerpted from the author’s new book titled High-Speed Constraint Values and PCB Layout Methods. The book and accompanying calculator give effective constraint values based on signal edge rate and stackup information. The book and calculator are available as free downloads at https://pcdandf.com/pcdesign/index.php/constraints. This excerpt presents Chapter 3, which describes the best way to determine if a routed signal needs high-speed management. Other chapters in the book describe the layout methods and constraints to prevent signal degradation.

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