Designing PCBs for Wearables

It is difficult to fabricate printed circuit boards for Internet of Things (IoT) wearables because of the latter’s small size and dimension. Until embedded engineers develop viable and affordable PCBs for wearables, the industry will have to make do with current expertise in board level development. In the meantime, the industry also needs to find solutions for the unique challenges therein. The three areas that are noteworthy in this respect are board surface materials, RF transmission lines and RF/microwave design.

Another issue with designing PCBs for wearables is impedance control, which has to be much tighter in wearables. Impedance control is essential for better signal propagation. The thing is, the standard tolerance on most PCBs is +/-10%, which is not good enough for the high-speed, high-frequency circuitry we have today. Such variables can negatively affect the fabrication of PCBs for wearables that need strong impudence control.

Rogers laminate is considered a good candidate for fabricating PCB layers. This news will especially benefit embedded engineers engaged in research on PCBs for wearables. The material used to manufacture PCBs for wearables must be highly reliable. This is why, FR4 or Fiber Reinforced Epoxy, which is currently the favorite for PCB fabrication (thanks to its cost effectiveness) is not considered viable to manufacture PCBs for wearables.