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Sustaining Performance Growth in PTH Assembly

15th December 2014

The evolution of wireless networks over recent years has been responsible for the development of ever-smaller multi-functional tablet computers and smartphones. This has led to an ever-increasing circuit board density.

So the reliability of electro plating used in PTH assembly has been a key to the development of circuit boards for micro electronic applications.

Electronic connections have been around ever since the first component was soldered to a circuit board. However, today’s devices are produced in a package that is a fraction of the size of phones, cameras and Walkmans that were produced in the 1990s.

Micro components used in PTH assembly produce benefits such as shorter times for signal transits, faster speeds in clocks and much lower energy use. As a consequence, the devices have been able to handle much higher data throughput, and the circuitry is able to handle higher bandwidths.

To keep pace with the higher data throughput needed, designers of electronic circuitry have been seeking out materials with a higher conductance and those with low dielectric constants that would improve resistance, capacitance delays and signal transmission line time constants.

The demand for high bandwidth has triggered a change from the use of aluminium in circuitry to copper traces on circuit chips, as copper has a 40 per cent higher conductance than aluminium.

However, increasing conductance alone will not guarantee a sustained increase in chip performance. There has also been a need to lower capacitance in transmission lines.

While the resistance of a circuit board trace depends on the nature of the conducting material as well as the area of its cross section, its capacitance depends on other geometric details, such as its entire surface area and the dielectric constant of any insulators that separate each conductor.

Furthermore, at higher frequencies, such as in the gigahertz range, the resistivity of the trace depends on the conductor’s perimeter. So the large-perimeter conductor makes a trace with a lower resistance when operating at a high frequency. But at the same time, this means that the trace will have a larger surface area that increases its capacitance and offsets any gains in reducing its resistance.

The resistance and capacitance of a circuit board trace have an inversely dependent relationship. So to optimise the performance of a chip, the key factor to look for is the dielectric media to lower chip interconnection delays.

Feel free to contact us if you need more information about PTH assembly or any similar topics.