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.

Component Footprint Rotation, Part II

I’ve noticed that a lot of CAD library footprints for two-pin polarized parts have pin one pointed up as zero degree rotation. According to IPC, pin 1 pointed to the left is zero degree rotation. Why is this such a … Continue reading

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Component Footprint Rotation

Before we (or any old assembly house) go about putting surface mount parts on a board, we need to program our assembly robots. I’m oversimplifying, but essentially, the machine program needs to know the X / Y coordinates, relative to the … Continue reading

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Using the Newest Gen Arm Microcontrollers

I’ve written a few times about the new Freescale KL03 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller. This particular part comes only in very small packages, with the smallest being a 1.6 x 2mm WLCSP (wafer level, chip scale package) 0.4mm pitch, 20 bump … Continue reading

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Polarized Non-Polarized Components: Inductors

We have a number of manufacturing engineers running around here at Screaming Circuits. They’re very good at what they do, as are our operators and technicians. They are not, however, electrical engineers. Our parent company has a big group of … Continue reading

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Do You Need that Part, or is It Just Habit?

At the moment, I’m working on an Arduino compatible clock. Like most of my Arduino compatible boards, this one uses an Atmega32U4, with USB built in. With the Atmega32U4, I sacrifice a little in program memory and SRAM, but gain … Continue reading

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Chips Making Faces

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Freescale KL03 and PCB123 at 0.4mm Pitch

Small component packages seem to be a recurring theme with me. It’s understandable, I guess. Super tiny packages are becoming more and more common and we build a lot of product with them. The smallest we’ve built is 0.3mm pitch. … Continue reading

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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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