Thermal interface materials provide much-needed heat relief for electronic assemblies.

Overheating is the number one cause of electronic component failure and requires aggressive thermal management strategies. That’s why thermal interface materials (TIMs) have become ubiquitous in today’s electronic assemblies, working to dissipate heat from heat-sensitive components, improve device reliability, and prevent premature failure.

The two main categories of thermal interface materials are TIM1 and TIM2. Used together, they create a comprehensive thermal management solution at both the chip and semiconductor package level.

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A basic process for revising a client-supplied CAD database.

Not all designs start from scratch. Not all designs start with a schematic and then “ECO’ing” it into the PCB, and then working from there creating the board outline and placing the footprints, followed by routing and completing the design, generating all the necessary fabrication and assembly files.

Some designs, like the one described here, are provided by the client, and require changes. Typically, these would be a simple set of changes in the schematic that need to be transferred via engineering change orders (ECO) to the PCB layout, followed by a series of updates on the PCB side to incorporate any parts added or deleted from the design.

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Will a “universal” footprint work for various-sized passives?

This details the design of an LED constant-current driver PCB. I am trying to make this design as “universal” as possible. Described here are some of the features and reasons I created the layout as I did.

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A review of five useful tools and the basis for using each.

What is the prominent skill process engineers are on the payroll for? It’s their problem-solving skills. Therefore, the process engineer’s function is to solve problems and add value. The better the process engineer becomes at doing this, the more valuable they become. The scientific method is a structured approach to problem-solving that can aid the process engineer in this endeavor.

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