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Multiwire Boards

  Time:2012-06-11 11:46

Multiwire is a patented technique of interconnection which uses machine-routed insulated

wires embedded in a non-conducting matrix (often plastic resin). It was used during the

1980s and 1990s. (Kollmorgen Technologies Corp, U.S. Patent 4,175,816 filed 1978) Multiwire

is still available in 2010 through Hitachi. There are other competitive discrete wiring

technologies that have been developed (Jumatech, layered sheets).

Since it was quite easy to stack interconnections (wires) inside the embedding matrix, the

approach allowed designers to forget completely about the routing of wires (usually a time-

consuming operation of PCB design): Anywhere the designer needs a connection, the machine

will draw a wire in straight line from one location/pin to another. This led to very short

design times (no complex algorithms to use even for high density designs) as well as reduced

crosstalk (which is worse when wires run parallel to each other—which almost never happens

in Multiwire), though the cost is too high to compete with cheaper PCB technologies when

large quantities are needed.