to be published International Journal of Engineering Education, 2006

Using Embedded Resistor Emulation and Trimming to Demonstrate Measurement Methods and Associated Engineering Model Development

Phillip A.M. Sandborn and Peter Sandborn
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Embedded resistors are planar resistors fabricated inside of printed circuit boards used as an alternative to discrete resistor components that are mounted on the surface of the boards.  The successful use of embedded resistors in many applications requires that the resistors be trimmed to required design values prior to lamination into printed circuit boards.  This paper describes a simple emulation approach utilizing conductive paper that can be used to characterize embedded resistor operation and experimentally optimize resistor trimming patterns.  We also describe a hierarchy of simple modeling approaches appropriate to both college engineering students and pre-college students that can be verified with the experimental results, and used to extend the experimental trimming analysis.  The methodology described in this paper is a simple and effective approach for demonstrating a combination of measurement methods, uncertainty analysis, and associated engineering model development.

Keywords: Embedded resistors, embedded passives, trimming

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