RF technology faces increasingly discriminating standards for miniaturization and short design cycles. Because of this, finding reliable, efficient prototyping processes has become more important than ever, with multilayer applications presenting an ever bigger challenge. In-house PCB prototyping, however, offers a series of intriguing benefits for RF research and development. Engineers can go from design to finished prototype in a matter of hours, make design revisions easily via machine software, and maintain complete user control over the prototyping process. When it comes to multilayer applications, the design will be milled or etched onto the surface of the board, the layers will be pressed together, and through-holes will be drilled and then plated to complete a functional multilayer structure.
This paper examines creating and measuring the quality of a multilayer PCB made with LPKF in-house PCB prototyping equipment.
Embedding power semiconductor devices into printed circuit boards (PCB) has been investigated for several years. With this technology the PCB is built-up around a bare semiconductor chip. Compared to the conventional approach, where packaged semiconductors are soldered to a PCB, which serves as circuit carrier only, embedding of power semi- conductors (such as MOSFET or IGBT) offers several benefits:
1. Embedding reduces the device volume significantly, as no package for the semiconductor is required.
2. Miniaturization shortens the power loop and results in reduced parasitics (resistance and inductance). This enables lower switching and conduction losses.
3. Using thick Cu substrates for heat spreading enables an improved thermal impedance [3, 4]. Today, the technology is available from a few specialized PCB manufacturers, who offer production only for high volume applications. Here, we present an approach for prototyping of multi-layer PCBs with embedded power semiconductor. A demonstrator board with an embedded MOSFET half bridge is developed, fabricated, and tested.
The application report documents how laser technology is significantly expanding the options for micromaterials processing. With resolutions in the range of the laser beam’s focus diameter – around 15 μm in the system under consideration here – a rapid beam guidance through high-quality optics, and a broad parameter range, the laser can be used for many tasks in micromaterials processing. Laser systems generally create their interactions through chemical processes, heating, vaporization, or structure modifications.
In processing with ultra-short pulses, the affected materials are modified so quickly – vaporized as a rule – that the surrounding areas are not affected by heat. This cold ablation allows the processing of thinner and more sensitive materials with a level of precision previously unattainable.
Download the application report to learn more.
The LPKF ProtoLaser R is the first ultra-short pulse laser system that can ablate material without thermal influence and can also machine transparent materials.
The application report documents the structuring results of LTCC carbon tape from C12 Advanced Technologies that offers many solutions in the fabrication of buried cavities, micro channels and MEMS structures in multilayer devices. LPKF tested LTCC carbon during structuring and cutting with the ProtoLaser R.
Download the application report to learn more.
Flexible printed circuit boards have been the solution for connections that need to be movable, that require little space and/or weight, or that require a fast data connection. They usually have only the passive function of transmitting signals. They replace cables and are often found as a part of switches in keyboards, in LED lighting, PC and mobile antennas, various sensors such as motion controls or drug delivery sensors and in wearables.
Flexible PCBs, typically based on a thin polyimide (PI) film, are multifunctional and can be produced as single, double or multilayer with plated through holes and surface treatment similar to rigid circuit boards. LPKF’s ProtoLasers play a key role in the prototyping of flexible PCBs. LPKF has carried out various tests to determine which laser system is best suited for which material application.
Download the application report to learn more about the processing results of various LPKF ProtoLaser systems.
The application report describes three different methods of producing a circuit board prototype of a microstrip bandpass filter and compares the results with one another.
Download the paper to learn more.
The LPKF ProtoLaser R is the first ultra-short pulse laser system with highly flexible software and guaranteed laser class 1 user safety dedicated for laboratory use. It can ablate material without thermal influence and can also be used for micro-machining of transparent materials.
260 µm thick production samples of titanate with Au-Ni/Pt show the potential of the laser system. For better illustration, the same sample was also produced with the LPKF ProtoLaser U4, equipped with a UV laser source.
Download the paper to learn more about material processing with the ProtoLaser R.
To stay ahead of the competition with RF/Microwave, wireless, IoT, and other microelectronics, engineers and manufacturing teams must continuously evaluate the best new methods to produce efficient circuits. While the list of potential substrate materials is long, this paper details capabilities offered with the LPKF ProtoLaser S4 and ProtoLaser U4 models on a handful of top choices, each popular for different reasons.
A miniaturized uniplanar metamaterial-based EBG for parallel-plate switching noise suppression
Stuart Barth ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada ; Ashwin K. Iyer
As a demonstration of the advanced surface metallization laser etching, drilling and cutting capabilities possible on the LPKF ProtoLaser U3, this paper details results from a novel one-dimensional uniplanar EBG based on transmission-line metamaterials for parallel-plate noise suppression, and is analyzed using multiconductor transmission-line theory.
The full article is available for download or purchase here
Laser Ablation of Thin Films on Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic
Productivity. Innovation. Time to market. Day to day, year over year, businesses are forced to make critical R.O.I.-related decisions that impact the future and the bottom line. For a growing number of electronics manufacturers, many of those decisions revolve around whether a function should be performed by an outside contractor or kept in-house. But for many companies in the RF/microwave industry this decision is often concerned with continuing to employ an outside printed-circuit-board (PCB) fabricator for prototype PCBs, or to make a $10,000 to $100,000 investment in an in-house, rapid PCB prototyping machine that may represent a key competitive advantage.
Productivity. Innovation. Time to market. Day to day, year over year, businesses are forced to make critical R.O.I.-related decisions that impact the future and the bottom line. For a growing number of electronics manufacturers, many of those decisions revolve around whether a function should be performed by an outside contractor or kept in-house. But for many companies in the RF/microwave industry this decision is often concerned with continuing to employ an outside printed-circuit-board (PCB) fabricator for prototype PCBs, or to make a $10,000 to $100,000 investment in an in-house, rapid PCB prototyping machine that may represent a key competitive advantage
In this catalog, you will find everything you need for rapid prototyping of printed circuit boards: machines, tools, consumables, accessories, and software. With this, you can manufacture single-sided, double-sided, or even multilayer PCBs in-house.