IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 176- 186, April 2005.

An Assessment of the Applicability of Embedded Resistor Trimming and Rework

Peter Sandborn
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


The successful use of embedded resistors in many applications will require that the fabricated resistors be trimmed prior to lamination into printed circuit boards to attain required design tolerances.  Depending on the application, the economic value of the board being fabricated, and the process used to create the embedded resistors, it may also be prudent to consider reworking resistors that are incorrectly trimmed or with initial values that are too large (un-trimmable resistors).  This paper uses a model of the resistor/board yield coupled with a cost model of the trim and rework processes to identify conditions under which applications should neither trim nor rework, trim but not rework, or perform both trimming and rework of embedded resistors, as a function of the design tolerance for the resistors and the accuracy with which the embedded resistors can be formed.  Example results are presented for several applications ranging from small boards with a high density of embedded resistors to large boards with a low density of embedded resistors.  Distinct regions of trimming and rework applicability that are nearly application independent can be identified as a function of design tolerance, printing/plating/etching variation, and the characteristics of the trimming process.

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