You would not want to miss this informative, knowledge-packed conversation with Dr. Kunal Shah. Dr, Kunal generously gives us all a crash course on surface finishes and understanding different types of materials that could affect signal integrity, reliability and electronic shelf life. He will also tackle in detail the pros and cons of various types of nickel-free finishes.

Watch this podcast episode now or listen on the go. Make sure to check the notes and additional resources below.

Show Highlights:

  • PCB Designers must be knowledgeable of various manufacturing processes and materials
  • One of the things that makes liloTree unique is its innovation in materials development and ensuring better and robust reliability of the electronic assembly
    • liloTree offers eco-friendly solutions (organic surface finishes) that enhance reliability and offer better performance in terms of signal integrity
  • Dr. Kunal shares his background and how he founded liloTree
  • Manufacturers are trying to find alternatives for ENIG (Electroless nickel immersion gold) due to nickel causing signal integrity loss in the high-frequency application
  • There are several nickel-free surface finish, but designers must understand selection criteria – pros and cons of each types of materials
    • immersion tin does have higher insertion loss
    • OSP (organic solderability preservatives) is an organic-based surface finish. It provides good signal integrity, but has low shelf life issues
    • Hard Gold has good signal integrity but very costly
    • Electro-less palladium, immersion gold or autocatalytic gold it includes cumbersome process and need to babysit it
  • A PCB must have both good signal integrity, great performance, and extended shelf life
    • Designers must realize the impact of the supply chain issues on the PCB manufacturing life cycle
    • Shelf life is critical. Boards are getting manufactured in one part of the world and it may take a few months before they get assembled in another side of the world
  • LiloTree has developed the best nickel-free option, specifically designed from a signal integrity perspective, reliability perspective, and cost effectiveness perspective
  • Another challenge of nickel based finishes is overplating and the skip plating in the PCB pads that could lead to micron scale level failures
  • The liloTree nickel free solution includes a “barrier layer” which has multiple benefits including slower growth of intermetallics, delaying of natural embrittlement and eventually an extended shelf life
  • How to overcome multiple reflow issues?
  • Dr. Kunal explains the different ways they offer their solution to the market
    • They offer their prototype lab where manufacturers and OEM can apply liloTree technology to evaluate and test it
    • PCB manufacturer from OEM or assemblies feedback, the solution will be shipped directly to the manufacturer and set it up in their existing plating line
    • Sending the boards to liloTree’s in-house plating line

Links and Resources:

Connect with Dr. Kunal Shah on LinkedIn
Visit liloTree website
Connect with Zach on LinkedIn

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