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PCB Cordwood Construction

  Time:2012-06-08 14:12

As a common sense, Cordwood construction can save significant space and often used with wire-ended components in applications where space was at a premium (such as missile guidance and telemetry systems) and in high-speed computers,where short traces were important. In "cordwood" construction, axial-leaded components wre mounted between two parallel planes.The components were either soldered together with jumper wire,or they were connected to other components by thin nickel ribbon welded at right angles onto the component leads.To avoid shorting together different interconnection layers,thin insulating cards were placed between them.Perforations or holes in the cards allowed component leads to project through to the next interconnection layer.Disadvantage of this system are that special nickle-leaded components had to be used to allow the interconnecting welds to be made,and that components located in the interior are difficult to replace.Some versions of cordwood construction used soldered single-sided PCBs as the interconnection method(as pictured),allowing the use of normal-leaded components.
Before the advent of integrated circuits, this method allowed the highest possible component packing density;because of this, it was used by a number of computer vendors including control Data Corporation.The cordwood method of construction was used only rarely once semiconductor electronics and PCBs became widespread.