“Honey, I shrunk the kids.” “It’s a small world after all.” These are well-known phrases to Disney fans – but they could just as easily describe the ongoing miniaturization of printed circuit board (PCB) designs (Figure 1). Consider the following statistics
- Board area has remained relatively constant, while the number of leads per square inch has tripled in the last 10 years.
- The average number of components has quadrupled in 15 years while the average leads-per-part has decreased by a factor of 4 to 5x.
- The number of pins in a design has tripled and the number of pin-to-pin connections has doubled.
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