BERLIN – The Trade Association for Design, PCB and Electronics Manufacturing (FED) has awarded the PCB Design Award to three PCB designers for their outstanding achievements: Thomas Blasko (CiBoard Electronic), Georg Scheuermann (TQ-Systems) and Michael Matthes (Wittenstein Cyber Motor).

Every two years, the award recognizes PCB designers, this year in the categories 3-D/construction space, high wiring density and high transmission rates (HDI), and special creativity.

Erika Reel, Fed board member design and jury chairman, and Christoph Bornhorn, Fed managing director, presented the winners with certificates.

Blasko received an award for 3-D/construction space. This category focuses on the mechanical challenges that can be solved with complex, rigid, rigid-flex or flex circuits. Blasko's project describes a system for laser scanner position measurement. The rigid-flex PCB consists of nine individual function groups, with a base area of 29mm diameter and an integrated assembly as large as a 35mm film can. The PCB is folded around a predetermined aluminum milling body. The transfer of the measurement data and the power supply is carried out via a coax cable.

Scheuermann prevailed in the category of high wiring density/high transmission rates (HDI). He convinced the jury with its complex design, a computer-on-module with various high-speed interfaces and two memory blocks with 18 DDR4 memory chips each. To supply the memory and cores, currents up to 70A must be taken into account at clock speeds of up to 2.2GHz. The 18-layer board with minimal compressions ensures high-speed requirements and optimal supply of processor and storage.

Matthes won for special creativity. This category is awarded to a design that is clever or elegantly solved, independent of carrier materials. Matthes' design allows nanosatellites to be aligned in near-Earth orbit. Highly compact – on a square space the size of a cube sugar – the reaction wheel was designed specifically for the harsh space conditions. The square design makes space-saving integration possible and also offers maximum flexibility in the application. He succeeded in meeting the requirements through a 6-layer rigid-flex PCB. His project results are now being put to the test: With the rocket launch in Baikonur, the built-in PCB in the micro-satellite was shot 600km into space.

A jury of seven experts evaluated designs according to technical requirements, feasibility and documentation. On the basis of 50 predetermined criteria, the applicants had to describe their design.

“We are very pleased about the high level of submissions," said Erika Reel, chairwoman of the jury. “Overall, the work shows a high degree of creativity in planning and cleverness in implementation."

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