Most-Read PCB Design Articles of 2015


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EchoStar’s Les Beller Shares the PCB Design-to-Fab Process

Recently, Barry Matties had the opportunity to meet and interview Les Beller of EchoStar Technologies. In this interview, Beller focuses on the many challenges circuit board designers face, strategies for bridging the gap between circuit design and fabrication, and the future of circuit designers.

Beyond Design: The Plain Truth About Plane Jumpers

Moats, islands, cut-outs in the ground plane, isolated power planes, floating ground regions, and a host of other intricate layout techniques are often used by PCB designers to reduce crosstalk, EMI, and to otherwise improve overall system performance. But a high-speed signal crossing a split in the plane causes problems along at least three dimensions, including signal quality, crosstalk, and EMI.  Barry Olney explains. 

Cadence’s Brad Griffin Digs Deep Into DDR

Guest Editor Kelly Dack stopped by the Cadence Design Systems booth at DesignCon 2015, where he sat down with Product Marketing Manager Brad Griffin to discuss Cadence’s advanced PCB design and signal integrity tools, and the company’s focus on DDR.

Trending at Freedom CAD: New Crop of Next‐Gen Designers

Scott McCurdy, director of sales and marketing at Freedom CAD Services, expresses his vision for what North America is bringing to the table in the world of circuit design. I‐Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties and McCurdy also discuss China, trends in product design, tools, and more.

Material Witness: Low-Flow Prepregs–Defining the Process

Let’s try to define “low flow” in terms that will make sense to both suppliers and users of the products.  A low-flow prepreg is a prepreg that flows sufficiently to wet out and adhere to bonding surfaces and to fill inner layer copper details, but does not flow so much as to fill in cut-out areas in a heat sink or run unevenly out of the interface between rigid and flexible elements of a rigid-flex PWB.

Make the Right Decisions at the Right Time in the PCB Design Process

Martin Cotton of Ventec explains why the right decisions are not always the easiest decisions, but making them well and as early as possible often avoids errors and addition costs. This is certainly the case in PCB design and a key decision influencing the design process and the eventual outcome is the selection of material and of the materials vendor.   

Nick Barbin: From Designer to EMS Company Owner

Many PCB designers would rather do just about anything than pore over a P&L spreadsheet. But Nick Barbin isn’t a typical designer. He co-founded the design bureau Optimum Design Associates over two decades ago, and the company later expanded into contract manufacturing and Lean processes. I caught up with Nick recently and asked him how he wound up leading an EMS company on the Inc. 5000 list.

Broadcom PCB Design: Miniaturization on the Cutting Edge

Andy Shaughnessy recently attended the Orange County Designer's Council “Lunch and Learn” meeting, held at the Broadcom offices on the campus of the University of California, Irvine. Afterward, he sat down with Scott Davis, CID, the senior manager of PC board design at Broadcom, to discuss the company’s savvy PCB design department and their approach to PCB design.

Max Maxfield Looks at the Future of Electronics

Clive "Max" Maxfield has worked for decades in this industry, and in a variety of capacities: Engineer, author, editor, columnist, blogger, and keynote speaker. Editor Andy Shaughnessy caught up with his former columnist recently and asked him what he'd been doing to stay out of trouble, and what sort of technology and futuristic electronic gadgets were piquing his interest now. 

Ten Considerations for Outsourcing PCB Designs

Outsourcing your design work is a big deal. How do you know that the end-result will be as you envisaged? Will you have full control of your design? Will it be done to the quality you expect and within the time frame required? Outsourcing can pose some fairly scary questions, so what are the key things to consider and what are the pitfalls to avoid?

 

 

 

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Material Conservation: The PCB Designer's Role

09/01/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
During these times of supply chain uncertainty, many product developers are considering new ways to conserve materials—from laminates to components, layer reduction, and everything in between. Barry Matties and Happy Holden recently spoke with Alun Morgan, president of EIPC and technology ambassador for Ventec, about material conservation strategies for today’s PCB designers and design engineers. Alun explained why this may be the perfect time to educate PCB designers about conserving materials: When a model is broken, the people involved are much more open to new ideas.

Designing for Material Conservation Means Changing Attitudes

08/29/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
It makes a lot of sense: During times when the supply chain is stretched to the breaking point—and the last few years certainly qualify—what if PCB designers created boards that used fewer components and less laminate? Do PCBs still have to be 0.062" thick? Why not reduce layer count while they’re at it? Andy Shaughnessy and Nolan Johnson spoke with I-Connect007 columnist Dana Korf about the idea of designing a PCB with material conservation in mind. Is it a great new idea, or are we opening a whole new can of worms and a separate group of problems?

Design Tips for Lowering Costs of Fab and Assembly

08/25/2022 | Cherie Litson, CID+, Litson1 Consulting
This is the million-dollar question of every project: How can I cut the cost of the PCB? There are about a thousand answers to this question. There are a few simple guidelines that everyone can follow to reduce costs. I talk about them in my IPC CID and CID+ courses. Designers, fabricators, and assemblers talk about them in a variety of articles. Some professionals who have published some great articles on cost-saving strategies include Tara Dunn, Happy Holden, Chris Church, Kella Knack, Judy Warner, Julie Ellis, Lars Wallin, and many, many others.



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