High speed printed circuit boards have grown both in terms of popularity and manufacturing. These PCBs are extremely complex and utilize various integrated components. So it may not be surprising to hear that such PCB products do face challenges when it comes to PCB assembly. Up-to-date knowledge of the problems faced by high speed PCBs can prove to be beneficial in terms of PCB manufacturing and assembly.
High Speed PCB Assembly Problems
There are many factors that can contribute to the failing of a high speed PCB. Some of the reasons are given below.
- Mixed Material Boards: High speed PCBs usually utilize boards made with a combination of 2 or 3 materials. It has been found that while the boards may pass at general spectrum speeds, they may fail at extremely high speed applications. They may even pass all general testing such as flying probe and functional tests. To prevent this, these boards need to be processed using special pre-preg and heat treatment procedures.
- PCB Components: The ICs and other components used in high speed PCBs are manufactured to exacting specifications. Components such as pins and chips are designed to be assembled only onto specific parts of the board or pad. If these are used in an incorrect manner, it can lead to problems in the PCB.
- FPGAs: If a high speed PCB is running at a lesser speed, chances are the FPGA chips are responsible for it. The reason for this is simple. The FPGA chips are designed with extremely fine geometries so that many Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) can be packed onto the silicon. These transistors create numerous functions to achieve to the high speed and performance. The downside is that the million functions also cause the chip to heat up. If there is no dissipation procedure, the chip will fail prematurely.
An understanding of the common problems can help a company be prepared for them during the PCB assembly process.