Recorded on Mar 23 2016 at GCP NEXT 2016 in San Francisco.

Businesses can improve visibility into the health of their products and services using data from connected devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Learn how to use the big data and analytics capabilities of GCP to build end-to-end solutions that collect, transform, and analyze this torrent of IoT data. From connecting devices to generating business and customer insights from specific use-cases, learn how to to make IoT work for you.

Speakers: Preston Holmes, Google & Gayathri Rajan, Google Source

Internet of Things PCB considerations for Startups

Given that IoT products are so innovative, you would think that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and under-going a great deal of technical headache. That may be a fallacy.

Nevertheless it doesn’t mean IoT startups have a obvious way to fame and fortune. Facing them is a lot of design and manufacturing factors which are unique to these small products. These concerns ought to be looked at for the fresh new IoT product to be successful.

On the plus side, it’s a consideration for IoT startups to be aware of that the foundation for a successful new product does exist. This simply means experience and knowhow concerning the design, fabrication and assembly of these cutting-edge products are out there. And the best advice is for wise IoT product businessmen and forerunners to listen to the advice that professional electronics manufacturing services or EMS providers offer. These businesses as well as their engineering employees have previously completed the job with revolutionary IoT businesses in Silicon Valley entering into the very first of this coming industry.

The PCB of an IoT unit is a special beast than the traditional one, which is noticeably larger and flat. IoT devices, on the other hand, consist mostly of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which include their very own groups of design layout, fabrication and assembly concerns and intricacies.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly


A top concern is to try to get skilled designers who’ve done a lot of rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT unit is tight. So you want the designer to have direct layout knowledge to productively design critical components on that limited room.

Simultaneously, almost all IoT systems aren’t stationary; they incur significant movement and rotating. Here, the skilled designer plays a leading role in calculating bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a vital part of a design. Some other critical design layout concerns contain signal trace thickness, number of rigid and flex circuit layers, copper weight and stiffener placement. Stiffeners are widely-used on flex circuits to ensure that components installed on the flex circuit continue to be tightly in place to prevent itself from movement.

Some other concern is through-hole component positioning in rigid-flex circuits. What makes that very important? Lots of IoT items are founded on surface mount device(SMD) placement. Yet , there may be through-hole components, which are usually designed into either the rigid part or the flex part of the board. Through-hole components are usually helpful to connect input/output or I/O signals to the outer world. That way, those signals can show up employing an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole component placement is a pretty important consideration in an IoT item simply because when applied on the flex area of the board, appropriate stiffeners have to be designed and applied for appropriate assembly.

Then finally in the layout category, the high temperature that components bring in is required to be considered. IoT systems are becoming more sophisticated with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring up to 12 – 14 layers. Several systems are digital. Yet , ever more analog devices are being utilized in IoT devices. Analog circuitry cranks out considerably more heat than digital ones. It really means heat expansion plus contraction rate has to be evaluated. In tech lingo, that is often called the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the effective handling of it.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly


Choosing the proper fabricator is vital and is linked to the EMS firm you’ve determined. The fabricator you’re looking for needs to have IoT PCB fabrication practical experience. Amongst critical concerns here are making certain robust adhesions between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, figuring out all of the critical calculations and obtaining a thorough expertise in when current transfers from the rigid side to the flex side.

These fabricators should also get an in-depth expertise in tremendously miniature parts similar to 0201 as well as 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the utilization of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.

In addition they need to have experience with designing boards with pretty tight tolerances in terms of footprint for those sorts of BGA devices, in terms of up-to-date capabilities like laser direct imaging for putting the solder mask on the board. They should have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under mainly because these IoT units could be so small that a regular drill size of 5 to 8 mils will possibly not be adequate. They might require to go to a 3 mil, meaning you need to have an excellent laser drilling capability in house.

In the event you’re placing via-in-pad, it is a good way to take advantage of the small space that’s available on the rigid-flex board, yet it creates trouble for assembly. If vias are not completely planar or flat in shape, it becomes an issue during the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. The reason being that non-planar surfaces might threaten the integrity of solder joints.

In some cases via in pads leave bumps in the event that they’re not scoured appropriately after having the vias and gold finish on the top. In the event that there are bumps, then the solder joints in the assembly for those tiny BGA balls in those IoT devices wouldn’t be an ideal joint. It could create sporadic connections, which might be a bigger issue to address and improve. It all boils down to which EMS firm you are using because they’re the ones who will decide on the fabrication plant to make a victorious IoT device for you.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

PCB Assembly

It’s essential to look at skilled EMS companies that have efficiently assembled IoT and wearable PCBs as they have specialized tooling and fixtures readily available, which are essential for assembly to make sure components are placed the proper way, exactly and the printing is accomplished in the right way.

Printing could be a problem for IoT devices. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then you can find a change between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, which means a special fixture is needed to keep the complete rigid-flex board planar or entirely flat to allow for effective printing to be realized.

Startups should be set to select the appropriate manufacturing partners and EMS corporations. By doing this they can be sure they have got adequate experience beforehand to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details efficiently performed since they are essential to a successful and on-time IoT product launch.

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