There are many definitions for the internet of things, but we like this short one from Philip Moynagh, vice-president of Intel’s IoT group.

For more discussion on the fascinating future of IoT, visit http://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation, where you’ll find interviews, keynotes and panel discussions from Innovation Ireland Forum 2014 (https://innovationireland2014.eventbrite.ie).

This animation was created by the talented team at Think Visual. Check out their website: http://www.thinkvisual.ie Source

IoT PCB ways to care for Startups

Since IoT products are so innovative, you would assume that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and suffering from a great deal of technical difficulties. This is false.

Nevertheless it doesn’t imply IoT startups have a apparent route to stardom. Facing them is quite a few design and manufacturing concerns that are completely unique to these small products. These points need to be taken into consideration for the new IoT product to achieve its purpose.

On the plus side, it’s a consideration for IoT startups to find out that the basic foundation for a successful new product does exist. This simply means experience and knowledge involving the design, fabrication and assembly of such state-of-the-art products are available. Additionally, the most sage advice is for heady IoT product business people and forerunners to follow the recommendations that experienced electronics manufacturing services or EMS providers offer. These businesses as well as their engineering staffs have previously performed this work with groundbreaking IoT companies in Silicon Valley stepping into the early stages of this rising field.

The PCB of an IoT product is another beast than the traditional one, which is much larger and flat. IoT units, on the other hand, are comprised generally of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which come with their own groups of design layout, fabrication and assembly points and detailed aspects.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

Layout

A principal concern is to search out seasoned designers who’ve undertaken a number of rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT product is confined. So you’d like the designer to have directly layout working experience to successfully design critical components on that modest area.

Besides that, almost all IoT systems aren’t stationary; they incur significant movement and folding. Here, the seasoned designer plays a primary role in figuring out bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a vital part of a design. Various other critical design layout points 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 placed on the flex circuit stay closely constantly in place to avoid movement.

A second focus is through-hole component positioning in rigid-flex circuits. Why’s that essential? A lot of IoT appliances are based on surface mount device(SMD) placement. But nevertheless , there can be through-hole components, which are normally positioned on either the rigid section or the flex part of the board. Through-hole components are generally helpful to communicate input/output or I/O signals to the exterior world. That way, those signals can be displayed using an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole component placement is a significant factor in an IoT device simply because when applied to the flex section of the board, proper stiffeners should be designed and applied for ideal assembly.

At last in the layout category, the heat which components generate must be evaluated. IoT systems are increasingly elaborate with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring as many as 12 – 14 layers. A few systems are digital. But nevertheless , progressively more analog units are being utilized in IoT units. Analog circuitry results in a great deal more heat than digital ones. It really means heat expansion and contraction rate are required to be considered. In tech lingo, that is called the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the proper therapy for it.

PCB PWB Design Layout Fab Assembly

Manufacturing

Selecting the right fabricator is crucial and is linked to the EMS corporation you have chosen. The fabricator you’d like require IoT PCB fabrication experience. Amongst critical points here are making sure robust adhesions in between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, bearing in mind all of the crucial calculations and getting a good understanding of when current transfers from the rigid side to the flex side.

These fabricators should also possess an in-depth understanding of really small-scale components just like 0201 as well as 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the employment of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.

Furthermore, they ought to have experience of 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 must have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under since these IoT devices could be so little that a standard drill size of 5 to 8 mils will possibly not be adequate. They could have to go to a 3 mil, which indicates that you should have an state-of-the-art laser drilling capability in-house.

In the event that you’re placing via-in-pad, it’s a great way to take advantage of the small space which is available on the rigid-flex board, but it presents problems for assembly. If vias are not fully planar or flat in shape, it becomes challenging all through the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. The reason is non-planar surfaces could endanger the integrity of solder joints.

Occasionally via in pads leave bumps when they’re not scoured the correct way after adding the vias and gold finish on 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 a great joint. It might create intermittent connections, which might be a greater issue to treat and remedy. It all boils down to which EMS corporation you’re choosing 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 very important to head off to seasoned EMS companies that have proficiently assembled IoT and wearable PCBs as they have special tooling and fixtures already out there, which are important for assembly to guarantee components are placed correctly, accurately and the printing is completed properly.

Printing is usually a headache for IoT units. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then there will be a difference between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, signifying a special fixture is required to maintain the complete rigid-flex board planar or fully flat to get effective printing to become reached.

Startups really should be well prepared to select the right manufacturing partners and EMS firms. Doing this they can make sure they have got ample experience ahead of time to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details effectively performed as they are crucial to a profitable and on-time IoT product release.

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