The Internet of Things is not a single choice of technology, approach or philosophy. Its very existence is the bringing together of multiple platforms, products and protocols, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. One of the challenges of IoT is to make it as easy as possible to allow developers to make things, for play or profit, serious or whimsical, professional or hobbyist.
Node-RED is an open-source visual tool for wiring the Internet of Things. Built on top of node.js, it provides a light-weight, browser-based editor that makes it easy to integrate different streams of both physical and digital events. Its light-weight nature makes it ideal to run at the edge of the network, such as on the Raspberry Pi. By making use of the huge module eco-system within node.js, it provides a framework for easily adding new nodes into its palette to extend its capabilities.
This session introduces Node-RED, demonstrates what it can do and how it can be easily extended. Source
Internet of Things PCB ways to care for Startups
Because IoT products are so latest, you would believe that getting an IoT printed circuit board (PCB) project off the ground starts by reinventing the wheel and facing a substantial amount of technical problem. This is not the case.
But it doesn’t signify IoT startups have a clear way to fame and fortune. Facing them is quite a few design and manufacturing concerns that are unique to these small products. These concerns ought to be evaluated for the new IoT product to achieve its purpose.
On the plus side, it’s a consideration for IoT startups to recognize that the basic foundation for a successful cool product does exist. This means that experience and knowhow relating to the design, fabrication and assembly of these types of leading-edge products are accessible. Additionally, the best advice is for wise IoT product business owners and forerunners to follow the counsel that professional electronics manufacturing services or EMS suppliers offer. These companies together with their engineering team members have previously performed this work with pioneering IoT companies in Silicon Valley coming into the beginning of this coming segment.
The PCB of an IoT unit is a unique beast than the traditional one, which is considerably larger and flat. IoT products, on the contrary, consist mainly of either rigid-flex or flex circuit assemblies, which come with their own categories of design layout, fabrication and assembly concerns and technicalities.
A top concern is to look for knowledgeable designers who have completed many rigid-flex PCB designs. PCB space for an IoT unit is tight. So you would like the designer to have direct layout practical experience to properly design essential components on that modest area.
Also, virtually all IoT units are not fixed; they get extensive movement and twisting. Right here, the knowledgeable designer plays a major role in assessing bend ratios and lifecycle iterations as a significant part of a design. Some other essential design layout concerns comprise 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 components attached to the flex circuit continue being snugly in position to prevent movement.
One more consideration is through-hole part placement in rigid-flex circuits. Why’s that pretty important? Many of IoT products are founded on surface mount device placement. But nevertheless , there could be through-hole components, which are typically put on either the rigid portion or the flex area of the board. Through-hole components are normally designed to connect input/output or I/O signals to the outer world. Like that, those signals can show up by using an LCD or LED monitor. Through-hole part placement is an important factor in an IoT product for the reason that when attached to the flex section of the board, suitable stiffeners should be designed and implemented for proper assembly.
Ultimately in the layout category, the heat that components generate has to be thought of. IoT units are becoming more sophisticated with rigid-flex and flex circuits featuring over 12 to 14 layers. Some units are digital. But nevertheless , increasingly more analog devices are being used in IoT devices. Analog circuitry creates a great deal more heat than digital ones. That means heat expansion and also contraction rate are required to be thought about. In tech lingo, that is known as the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or CTE and the proper control over it.
Choosing the proper fabricator is important and is linked to the EMS enterprise you’ve decided on. The fabricator you need must have IoT PCB fabrication practical experience. Among essential concerns here are making certain strong adhesions between layers on both rigid and flex circuit sides, figuring out all the essential calculations and getting a robust expertise in when current transfers from the rigid side to the flex side.
Such fabricators also needs to possess an in-depth understanding of really small-scale components such as 0201 as well as 00105 device packages, package-on-package, and the use of fine-pitch ball-grid array or BGA packaged devices.
Furthermore, they ought to have knowledge of designing boards with extremely 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 should have laser drills for via drilling with sizes of 5 mils or under since these IoT units could be so little that a normal drill size of 5 to 8 mils perhaps may not be enough. They might need to go to a 3 mil, meaning that you have to have an state-of-the-art laser drilling capability indoors.
In case you are placing via-in-pad, it is a good way to utilize the small real estate that is available on the rigid-flex board, but it creates problems for assembly. If vias aren’t completely planar or flat in shape, it could be hard through the assembly of those tiny BGA packaged devices. The reason is non-planar surfaces might threaten the integrity of solder joints.
In some cases via in pads leave bumps in case they’re not cleaned the right way after adding the vias and gold finish on the top. In cases where there are bumps, then the solder joints in the assembly for those tiny BGA balls in those IoT devices might not be an excellent joint. It could create sporadic connections, which might be a greater issue to cope with and solve. It all boils down to which EMS enterprise you’re choosing because they’re the ones who will select the fabrication house to make a victorious IoT device for you.
It’s important to head over to knowledgeable EMS companies that have productively assembled IoT and wearable PCBs since they have specialized tooling and fixtures already obtainable, which are essential for assembly to make certain that components are placed properly, accurately and the printing is finished appropriately.
Printing might be a challenge for IoT devices. If it’s a rigid-flex board, then there exists a change between thicknesses of the rigid and flex circuit portions, indicating a special fixture is needed to retain the complete rigid-flex board planar or 100 % flat to allow effective printing to become actually done.
Startups ought to be set to pick the ideal manufacturing partners and EMS companies. Doing this they can be certain they have got sufficient experience early in advance to get the multitude of design, fabrication and assembly details efficiently performed because they are essential to a lucrative and timely IoT product launch.