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The Leader in QuickTurn HDI PCBs
Yield Drives Profit
Design for Manufacturing
Yield Drives Profit
• The first step toward designing a printed circuit
board is to identify the least expensive materials that
satisfy the electrical and environmental
requirements of the application.
• Data sheets and price lists for materials provide
basic guidance but no clue about how much a board
would actually cost to fabricate using one material
versus another.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 2
Yield Drives Profit
• Some materials have nearly identical characteristics
according to data sheets but one may be relatively more
or less challenging to process than another, especially
for HDI technology.
• Their raw prices have little correlation to their ease of
manufacture and consequently to board yield: and it is
manufacturing yield that drives profits.
• Broadly, whether a material is dimensionally stable, is
susceptible or resistant to copper migration, can
withstand multiple laminations, and can be laser drilled
with consistent good results determine the
manufacturing yields of HDI designs for which the
material is specified.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 3
Yield Drives Profit
• A circuit whose response remains relatively flat over its
frequency range will faithfully propagate signals without
distortion.
• The dielectric constant (Dk or Er) of a material decreases
as frequency increases. High-speed digital signals
involve broad bands of frequencies and thereby are
subject to distortion caused by impedance variations
resulting from changes in the Dk of board materials with
frequency. Changes in the dissipation factor (Df) of board
materials with frequency degrade signal integrity as well.
• Materials whose Dk and Df are low and vary little across
the frequency domain of a circuit propagate signals
faster and maintain signal integrity better than materials
with higher Dk and Df.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 4
Yield Drives Profit
• Suppose you’ve ruled out dielectrics in the FR4
category because their Dk and Df values are too high
and vary too much over the signal spectrum of your
circuit.
• Suppose as well your board will incorporate several
high-speed devices in BGAs, each with a dense pin
matrix that will require via-in-pad routing.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 5
Yield Drives Profit
• Your design will necessarily involve blind microvias
and therefore will require a material thin enough so
the aspect ratio of those laser-drilled vias does not
exceed 0.8 to 1 or plating could become difficult.
• Remember, at a given Dk, the thinner the substrate,
the narrower traces must be to maintain a 50-ohm
impedance. You’ll favor materials that have a low Dk
so trace width can be wide enough to be easily
manufactured and provide the necessary impedance
value.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 6
Yield Drives Profit
• Let’s say a Dk under 3.7 at 1 GHz is acceptable and
you’ve decided Isola FR408HR, Nelco N4000-13 SI,
and Panasonic Megtron 6 are prospects, based on
their data sheets. I choose these three materials,
which my fabrication company deals with routinely,
to illustrate my point about hidden manufacturing
issues, yield, and ultimate PCB cost.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 7
Yield Drives Profit
• FR408HR has a higher dielectric constant and higher
loss factor than both N4000-13 SI and Megtron 6 but
is cheaper in price.
• The Nelco 4000-13 series of materials and in
particular N4000-13 SI have excellent electrical
properties for high-speed digital applications. The SI
material—SI for signal integrity—is based on a glass
cloth specially formulated to have a very low Dk over
a wide frequency range that is closely matched to
the Dk of its resin.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 8
Yield Drives Profit
• Megtron 6 incorporates a unique low-Dk fabric
known as flat glass. Unlike FR408 HR and N4000-13
SI, in which resin resides throughout the glass fabric
weave, its resin is essentially a “butter coat” evenly
distributed across the woven flat-glass fabric
surface.
• Megtron 6 has a slightly higher average Dk value
than does Nelco 4000-13 SI from 1 GHz to 10 GHz but
a much lower Df. It is somewhat more expensive
than the Nelco material and is often used for rf and
microwave applications, as well as for high-speed
digital circuits.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 9
Yield Drives Profit
• The three products are comparable on paper (all are
widely employed for high-speed digital PCBs) but they
have quite different manufacturing characteristics when
used for HDI board designs.
• There are three key qualities a material must possess for
HDI fabrication. First, it must be dimensionally stable.
This quality of course applies to non-HDI construction as
well. All materials shrink and stretch to some extent
during manufacturing processes, and patterning must be
scaled to compensate, which is not an issue provided the
material movement is predictable. Second, the material
must be easily machinable: For HDI that means it can be
laser drilled without problems. Third, a material must be
able to survive multiple laminations. Let’s restrict this
comparison of manufacturability to laser drilling, with
regard to the three materials.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 10
Yield Drives Profit
• The word drill is really a misnomer to describe how a
laser makes holes. A better term would be
vaporization. Highly concentrated energy is directed
in a focused beam on a specific area, which is
absorbed by the material until it vaporizes. The
energy must be carefully controlled to ablate
material to form a hole without destroying the
landing pad beneath.
• However, dielectric constituents absorb energy at
different rates, and it is in this respect that N4000-13
SI, FR408HR, and Megtron 6 differ in
manufacturability.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 11
Yield Drives Profit
• A disclaimer: Though my company has extensive
experience with the three materials, that experience
isn’t quantified and therefore must be considered
subjective. There’s no bias toward one rather than
the others, except for HDI from manufacturing
experience. We’ll build whatever a customer wants, if
it can be constructed.
• The point to bear in mind is simply this: If a board is
challenging to build in limited, prototype quantities,
it will be no less challenging to manufacture in
production runs. To repeat, yield drives profit.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 12
Yield Drives Profit
• My company has found that achieving clean laser-
drilled holes in the Nelco material and in FR408HR
requires more effort compared to creating them in
Megtron 6.
• The resin in the Nelco fabric burns off at a much
different rate than the glass fibers and too much
energy is required to consume all the fibers in the
hole without compromising the surrounding
dielectric and the landing pad itself.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 13
Yield Drives Profit
• FR408HR is less prone to have glass fibers protrude
from hole walls than is N4000-13 SI but is less
predictable in that respect. Glass bundles extend in
perhaps only five percent of the holes but such
inconsistency itself complicates processing.
• The flat-glass fabric of Megtron 6 can be ablated
cleanly by contrast to the other two materials, in our
experience.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 14
Yield Drives Profit
• Nelco is continually investigating resin formulations,
glass, and fabric constructions that would improve
the manufacture of HDI architectures. The firm
recently introduced a new material, N4800-20 SI it
recommends in place of N4000-13 SI for HDI
manufacture. My company is evaluating that material
and anticipates better results.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 15
Yield Drives Profit
• The upshot of all this is you should consult your
board manufacturer at the outset of design to
identify materials that would provide the optimum
balance of price, manufacturability, and performance
based on your construction.
© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 16
Visit Us
» Amit Bahl
Director of Sales and Marketing
Sierra Circuits, Inc.
1108 West Evelyn Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Phone: 408-735-7137
Fax: 408-735-1408
Toll free: 800-763-7503
Office Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday – Friday
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR
PCB MANUFACTURING & ASSEMBLY CAPABILITIES, VISIT
www.protoexpress.com
17© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com
CALL SIERRA CIRCUITS TO ARRANGE A MEETING

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Yield Drives Profit

  • 1. The Leader in QuickTurn HDI PCBs Yield Drives Profit Design for Manufacturing
  • 2. Yield Drives Profit • The first step toward designing a printed circuit board is to identify the least expensive materials that satisfy the electrical and environmental requirements of the application. • Data sheets and price lists for materials provide basic guidance but no clue about how much a board would actually cost to fabricate using one material versus another. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 2
  • 3. Yield Drives Profit • Some materials have nearly identical characteristics according to data sheets but one may be relatively more or less challenging to process than another, especially for HDI technology. • Their raw prices have little correlation to their ease of manufacture and consequently to board yield: and it is manufacturing yield that drives profits. • Broadly, whether a material is dimensionally stable, is susceptible or resistant to copper migration, can withstand multiple laminations, and can be laser drilled with consistent good results determine the manufacturing yields of HDI designs for which the material is specified. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 3
  • 4. Yield Drives Profit • A circuit whose response remains relatively flat over its frequency range will faithfully propagate signals without distortion. • The dielectric constant (Dk or Er) of a material decreases as frequency increases. High-speed digital signals involve broad bands of frequencies and thereby are subject to distortion caused by impedance variations resulting from changes in the Dk of board materials with frequency. Changes in the dissipation factor (Df) of board materials with frequency degrade signal integrity as well. • Materials whose Dk and Df are low and vary little across the frequency domain of a circuit propagate signals faster and maintain signal integrity better than materials with higher Dk and Df. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 4
  • 5. Yield Drives Profit • Suppose you’ve ruled out dielectrics in the FR4 category because their Dk and Df values are too high and vary too much over the signal spectrum of your circuit. • Suppose as well your board will incorporate several high-speed devices in BGAs, each with a dense pin matrix that will require via-in-pad routing. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 5
  • 6. Yield Drives Profit • Your design will necessarily involve blind microvias and therefore will require a material thin enough so the aspect ratio of those laser-drilled vias does not exceed 0.8 to 1 or plating could become difficult. • Remember, at a given Dk, the thinner the substrate, the narrower traces must be to maintain a 50-ohm impedance. You’ll favor materials that have a low Dk so trace width can be wide enough to be easily manufactured and provide the necessary impedance value. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 6
  • 7. Yield Drives Profit • Let’s say a Dk under 3.7 at 1 GHz is acceptable and you’ve decided Isola FR408HR, Nelco N4000-13 SI, and Panasonic Megtron 6 are prospects, based on their data sheets. I choose these three materials, which my fabrication company deals with routinely, to illustrate my point about hidden manufacturing issues, yield, and ultimate PCB cost. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 7
  • 8. Yield Drives Profit • FR408HR has a higher dielectric constant and higher loss factor than both N4000-13 SI and Megtron 6 but is cheaper in price. • The Nelco 4000-13 series of materials and in particular N4000-13 SI have excellent electrical properties for high-speed digital applications. The SI material—SI for signal integrity—is based on a glass cloth specially formulated to have a very low Dk over a wide frequency range that is closely matched to the Dk of its resin. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 8
  • 9. Yield Drives Profit • Megtron 6 incorporates a unique low-Dk fabric known as flat glass. Unlike FR408 HR and N4000-13 SI, in which resin resides throughout the glass fabric weave, its resin is essentially a “butter coat” evenly distributed across the woven flat-glass fabric surface. • Megtron 6 has a slightly higher average Dk value than does Nelco 4000-13 SI from 1 GHz to 10 GHz but a much lower Df. It is somewhat more expensive than the Nelco material and is often used for rf and microwave applications, as well as for high-speed digital circuits. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 9
  • 10. Yield Drives Profit • The three products are comparable on paper (all are widely employed for high-speed digital PCBs) but they have quite different manufacturing characteristics when used for HDI board designs. • There are three key qualities a material must possess for HDI fabrication. First, it must be dimensionally stable. This quality of course applies to non-HDI construction as well. All materials shrink and stretch to some extent during manufacturing processes, and patterning must be scaled to compensate, which is not an issue provided the material movement is predictable. Second, the material must be easily machinable: For HDI that means it can be laser drilled without problems. Third, a material must be able to survive multiple laminations. Let’s restrict this comparison of manufacturability to laser drilling, with regard to the three materials. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 10
  • 11. Yield Drives Profit • The word drill is really a misnomer to describe how a laser makes holes. A better term would be vaporization. Highly concentrated energy is directed in a focused beam on a specific area, which is absorbed by the material until it vaporizes. The energy must be carefully controlled to ablate material to form a hole without destroying the landing pad beneath. • However, dielectric constituents absorb energy at different rates, and it is in this respect that N4000-13 SI, FR408HR, and Megtron 6 differ in manufacturability. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 11
  • 12. Yield Drives Profit • A disclaimer: Though my company has extensive experience with the three materials, that experience isn’t quantified and therefore must be considered subjective. There’s no bias toward one rather than the others, except for HDI from manufacturing experience. We’ll build whatever a customer wants, if it can be constructed. • The point to bear in mind is simply this: If a board is challenging to build in limited, prototype quantities, it will be no less challenging to manufacture in production runs. To repeat, yield drives profit. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 12
  • 13. Yield Drives Profit • My company has found that achieving clean laser- drilled holes in the Nelco material and in FR408HR requires more effort compared to creating them in Megtron 6. • The resin in the Nelco fabric burns off at a much different rate than the glass fibers and too much energy is required to consume all the fibers in the hole without compromising the surrounding dielectric and the landing pad itself. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 13
  • 14. Yield Drives Profit • FR408HR is less prone to have glass fibers protrude from hole walls than is N4000-13 SI but is less predictable in that respect. Glass bundles extend in perhaps only five percent of the holes but such inconsistency itself complicates processing. • The flat-glass fabric of Megtron 6 can be ablated cleanly by contrast to the other two materials, in our experience. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 14
  • 15. Yield Drives Profit • Nelco is continually investigating resin formulations, glass, and fabric constructions that would improve the manufacture of HDI architectures. The firm recently introduced a new material, N4800-20 SI it recommends in place of N4000-13 SI for HDI manufacture. My company is evaluating that material and anticipates better results. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 15
  • 16. Yield Drives Profit • The upshot of all this is you should consult your board manufacturer at the outset of design to identify materials that would provide the optimum balance of price, manufacturability, and performance based on your construction. © 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com 16
  • 17. Visit Us » Amit Bahl Director of Sales and Marketing Sierra Circuits, Inc. 1108 West Evelyn Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Phone: 408-735-7137 Fax: 408-735-1408 Toll free: 800-763-7503 Office Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday – Friday TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PCB MANUFACTURING & ASSEMBLY CAPABILITIES, VISIT www.protoexpress.com 17© 2013 Sierra Circuits, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | www.protoexpress.com CALL SIERRA CIRCUITS TO ARRANGE A MEETING