Do you know what Internet of Things or so called IoT is about? Check out this video to understand better this technology. If you wish to learn how the European Commission supports IoT innovation and future deployment visit: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/internet-things

Background info:
The Internet of Things: By 2020, between 22 and 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, providing citizens with an unprecedented array of smart applications and services. Europe is confronted with the challenge of remaining at the cutting-edge of this Internet of Things revolution while addressing the complex policy issues that it raises (privacy, security, ethics).

Want to know more about the topic?
Check the EU Commission site: http://bit.ly/RFID-EU
or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/InternetofThingsEU
or Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/InternetofThin1

Internet of Things PCB considerations for Startups

Since IoT appliances are so latest, you would believe that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and struggling with a good deal of technical troubles and delays. That may be false.

However it doesn’t mean IoT startups have a clear method to fame. Facing them is quite a few design and manufacturing concerns which are different to these small products. These points must be thought about for the fresh IoT device to gain success.

On the plus side, it’s a consideration for IoT startups to be aware of that the foundation for a successful awesome product exists. This implies experience and knowhow regarding the design, fabrication and assembly of these types of innovative products are available. And the best advice is for prudent IoT product businessmen and creators to listen to the counsel that veteran electronics manufacturing services or EMS companies are offering. These businesses and also their engineering employees already have executed the work with groundbreaking IoT corporations in Silicon Valley participating in the first stages of this rising sector.

The PCB of an IoT device is a different beast than the traditional one, which is significantly larger and flat. IoT gadgets, on the contrary, comprise largely of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which come with their very own categories of design layout, fabrication and assembly points and technicalities.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

Layout

A top concern is to search out encountered designers who’ve achieved quite a lot of rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT device is scarce. So you want the designer to have directly layout expertise to productively design vital parts on that little room.

Moreover, the majority of IoT units aren’t fixed; they bring extensive movement and twisting. Right here, the encountered designer plays a key role in determining bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a significant part of a design. Some other vital design layout points include signal trace thickness, number of rigid and flex circuit layers, copper weight and stiffener placement. Stiffeners are widely used on flex circuits to make sure that parts placed on the flex circuit stay snugly constantly in place to prevent movement.

A new focus is through-hole component positioning in rigid-flex circuits. Why is that pretty important? Many of IoT products are founded on surface mount device(SMD) placement. But there can be through-hole parts, which are usually placed on either the rigid section or the flex portion of the board. Through-hole parts are normally useful to communicate input/output or I/O signals to the outer world. Doing this, those signals can show up employing an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole component placement is a pretty important account in an IoT device considering that when utilized on the flex section of the board, right stiffeners must be designed and applied for excellent assembly.

Lastly in the layout category, the heat which parts bring in has to be factored in. IoT units are ever more elaborate with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring approximately 12 to 14 layers. Several units are digital. But increasingly analog units are being employed in IoT units. Analog circuitry makes significantly more heat than digital ones. It implies heat expansion as well as contraction rate ought to be thought of. In tech lingo, that is called the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the right dealing with it.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

Manufacturing

Finding the right fabricator is crucial and is linked to the EMS business you’ve picked out. The fabricator you like has to have IoT PCB fabrication practical experience. Amongst vital points here are insuring good adhesions in between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, understanding all the crucial calculations and getting a thorough comprehension of when current moves from the rigid side to the flex side.

Such fabricators also have to get an in-depth know-how about extremely small-scale components just like 0201 as well as 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the use of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.

In addition they must have experience with designing boards with highly tight tolerances in terms of footprint for those types of BGA devices, in terms of up-to-date capabilities like laser direct imaging for putting the solder mask on the board. They ought to have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under as these IoT devices could be so compact that a common drill size of 5 to 8 mils will possibly not suffice. They might need to go to a 3 mil, which indicates that you will need to have an leading-edge laser drilling capability in house.

In cases where you’re placing via-in-pad, it’s a easy way to take advantage of the small land that is available on the rigid-flex board, but it produces trouble for assembly. If vias are not totally planar or flat in shape, it will be a difficulty through the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. The reason is non-planar surfaces may jeopardize the integrity of solder joints.

Oftentimes via in pads leave bumps when they’re not scrubbed properly after laying the vias and gold finish at the top. In case there are bumps, then the solder joints in the assembly for those tiny BGA balls in those IoT devices would not be a perfect joint. This might create intermittent connections, which might be a bigger issue to cope with and mend. It all boils down to which EMS business you are using because they’re the ones who will choose the fabrication house to make a profitable IoT device for you.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

PCB Assembly

It’s vital to head off to encountered EMS companies that have productively assembled IoT and wearable PCBs because they have specialized tooling and fixtures readily available, which are required for assembly to make sure components are placed effectively, precisely and the printing is practiced in the right way.

Printing could be a problem for IoT units. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then there exists a change between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, meaning a special fixture is necessary to maintain the complete rigid-flex board planar or absolutely flat to permit effective printing to be carried out.

Startups really should be set to opt for the most suitable manufacturing partners and EMS enterprises. In this manner they can make certain they’ve sufficient experience beforehand to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details efficiently performed as they are essential to a lucrative and on time IoT product launch.

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