Primary Factors Influencing IoT PCB Design and Manufacturing

Primary Factors Influencing IoT PCB Design and Manufacturing

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, December 03, 2021

The growing use of IoT technology has favored the usage of novel materials, such as flexible printed circuit boards.

FREMONT, CA: The design of an IoT device necessitates proper evaluation and the correct selection of three key factors: sensors, wireless connectivity, and power management. The printed circuit board, which must be able to accommodate the functionality provided by these components, must be designed differently than usual. The following are the primary factors that influence the design of an IoT Printed Circuit Board (PCB):

Size: IoT gadgets are pretty compact in size, akin to smart wearable devices, and so require shrunk components. Modern sensors, which are mostly made using MEMS technology, have a compact footprint, cheap cost, and great reliability.

Layout: Due to the restricted area available for traces routing, multilayer PCBs are typically used, with very strict electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements. Furthermore, the high density of components on the PCB necessitates an HDI (High-Density Interconnect) design approach, resulting in a reduction in the size of the pads and an increase in the number of vias; the signal integrity of the sensors must be guaranteed in all operating conditions, avoiding any possible coupling or interference with power lines and wireless interface signals.

Power Management: This feature is critical for extending the life of the batteries that power IoT devices. The designer must ensure that each functional block of the circuit falls within the allotted power budget and properly select power management integrated circuits (PMICs). It is critical to estimate the device's power consumption in each state and operating condition, considering that wireless transceivers can have significant absorption peaks during the switch from off to on. The amount of power used in deep sleep mode is also critical, impacting battery life.

Materials: The growing use of IoT technology has favored the usage of novel materials, such as flexible PCBs. The mechanical structure of the material must be carefully considered when designing a flexible PCB, as it influences component placement. Flexible PCBs are suitable for wearables because they allow for the addition of more components in a smaller space. Flexible PCBs simplify wiring and provide greater strength in the presence of non-negligible mechanical forces when compared to the standard rigid approach.

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