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  • Vying for Vias

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2001
CO2 and UV lasers compete to win applications in drilling tiny holes -- microvias -- in printed circuit boards.

Brent D. Johnson, Senior News Editor

As communications devices -- cell phones, pagers and personal digital assistants -- become smaller and more intelligent, their enabling high-density printed circuit boards can have as many as 10,000 holes. The limitations of making these holes is the most important factor in deciding the ultimate performance and cost of these devices.

Mechanical drill bits can drill tiny holes -- microvias -- as small as 100 µm (4 mils). However, today's microdevices need smaller holes and more precision. Thus, new laser drills have emerged to meet the need for precision drilling...

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