4 Exciting Innovations in PCB Designs
Here are 4 Exciting Innovations in PCB Designs and Future Technology in PCB Design & Assembly.
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) development continues to make strides every year as innovations become more progressive and advanced. In fact, they are changing not just the tech in your hand, but how society as a whole functions. From new ways to design smartphones to streamlining the PCB manufacturing process, here are four exciting innovations the PCB industry has to offer.
It all started when Samsung released the Galaxy Fold in 2018: a 7.3-inched smartphone whose screen folded lengthwise so it fitted perfectly in your pocket. The phone functioned close to a tablet when opened, but the “cover” transformed into a smartphone when closed. Its PCB design was very ambitious, and initially, the Galaxy Fold utilized flex PCB designs to create the foldable phones.
However, all the gaps in the circuitry encouraged the accumulation of dust, which entered through the phone’s hinge. They later replaced it with a zigzag design that could also be bent or twisted at any angle, but didn’t have the gaps everyday flex PCBs had. Current foldable phones like the Galaxy Flip and Huawei Mate X utilize this type of layout.
Board cameras, also known as PCB cameras, are tiny sensors directly mounted onto a PCB that can capture images. One example are medical instruments like capsule endoscopy devices, which can examine your body without any invasive surgery.
It is already impressive technology on its own, but manufacturers are always looking into increasing its capture quality and frame rates—features that were initially conceded in favour of its small size. This is why smartphone cameras continue increase their megapixels, and why surveillance footage becomes clearer every year.
There are a lot of intricacies involved in the creation of PCBs, from its design to the laying of its parts. An article from Tech Wall even outlines a couple of common PCB design errors, such as incorrect landing patterns, components being too close to each other, and placing parts in the wrong orientation.
All of these mistakes are now being prevented by making a PCB with a fully functional 3D printer. This reduces the chance of any faulty PCBs being manufactured, and also means that they can be designed to be more complex. Although 3D printing technology is yet to be adopted on a mass scale, many companies such as Nano Dimension and DragonFly have began producing PCBs this way.
Wearables are not limited to Fitbits and step counters. One of the biggest innovations last year was Move ECG – a smartwatch that has the ability to measure electrocardiograms (ECGs) and send them directly to a doctor. It can even track atrial fibrillation (or irregular heartbeats), so the patient can get immediate help.
The MedTech field has long been experimenting with HDI PCBs to create accurate readings. They are very small, but they have more connections, so the functionality isn’t compromised. Move ECG is a prime example of advancements in PCB design for the fitness and health industry.
Technology evolves every year, and this is largely due to the advancements in PCB designs and applications. As such, when you see something new in the market – think about how it’s made. The answer will likely lie in how manufacturers have been able to improve the PCBs.
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