Author Archives: Duane

About Duane

Duane is the Web Marketing Manager for Screaming Circuits, an EMS company based in Canby, Oregon. He blogs regularly on matters ranging from circuit board design and assembly to general industry observations.

VTP: Very Tiny Parts

A while back, I wrote about a new ARM Cortex M0+ chip from Freescale. It’s not the first M0+, but I do believe that it’s the smallest. I’ve been checking stock off and on and finally found the smallest package … Continue reading

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Cost Reduction in Design — More Advice

If you’re looking for the absolute, cheapest possible assembly service, you’ll need to look outside of North America. If you really need a decent price with good quality and good service, you can keep your gaze West of the Atlantic … Continue reading

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QFN? QFP? QFWHAT?

The QFN (quad flat pack, no leads) has become my favorite integrated circuit package. It’s very compact, yet is easier to use than a µBGA. µBGAs of 0.5mm and smaller pitch become a bit more difficult and costly with more … Continue reading

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Remote ESD

ESD, or electrostatic discharge, is of great concern to anyone who deals with electronics. That’s obvious. What’s not necessarily so obvious, is that some times, you don’t even need to be all that close to the circuit board or component … Continue reading

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Warped PCBs

You just got a nice big PCB back from the fab shop. You set one on your desk to admire only to discover that it’s warped. What do you do? There are two primary types of causes of board warping: … Continue reading

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Panel Rails — What Are They?

I referred to “panel rails” in my blog about V-score panels, but I didn’t explain the “whats” and whys” of panel rails. You might find yourself asking “what are panel rails and why would I want to use them?” Well, first of … Continue reading

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V-Score Panelization

My last post talked a bit about panelization, in general. Today, I’m taking a look at V-score panelization. V-score is created by running a V-shaped blade across the top and bottom of the panel without cutting all the way through. … Continue reading

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PCB Panel Routing Technique

Most PCBs we receive are individually routed; i.e., not panelized. That doesn’t mean that, sometimes, sending them in a panel isn’t a good idea, or required. Generally, we don’t require panels (sometimes called a pallet), but there are some cases … Continue reading

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Component Packages — Let’s Get Small

I’ve been on a bit of a package binge lately. First talking about metric vs. US passive sizes, and then a very tiny ARM Cortex M0 from Freescale. The Freescale BGA part checks in at 1.6 x 2mm. That’s cool and I’m almost always … Continue reading

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0.4mm Pitch BGA is Awesome

I recently had a conversation with a friend about 0.4mm pitch BGAs. The specific part is the FreescaleKL03 ARM Coretex-M0+ microcontroller in a 1.6mm x 2mm, 04.mm pitch package. That’s a 20-ball wafer scale BGA form factor. I don’t have an … Continue reading

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