As the new year dawns, let’s start by wishing DesignCon a happy birthday. This year’s event marks the 25th anniversary of a show that started out, as many good ideas did, in the offices of HP. Dave Belandi of HP gets much of the credit for getting the ball rolling for what eventually became DesignCon.
The show was driven primarily by electronics engineers who wanted to share their knowledge about a fairly new idea: signal integrity. Now, DesignCon has grown into much more than an SI show, focusing on topics such as power integrity, skew, crosstalk, and jitter.
The show was later acquired by IEC, who then sold it to United Business Media, the owners of EE Times. Thanks to its location in Santa Clara, California, the show always draws a good crowd, even during downturns. If you were an unemployed EE in 2008, you knew that DesignCon was the place to be.
Let’s congratulate all of the people who have been involved with DesignCon since the very beginning, including engineers like Dave Belandi and our friends Istvan Novak and Eric Bogatin. These people volunteered their nights and weekends to get this show on the road, and the industry—especially in the signal integrity arena—is much better for it.
What’s Up With the IPC Designers Council?
Speaking of getting involved, some of you may have heard that the IPC Designers Council has undergone a name change and much more. The new organization is called IPC Design, and it will be run much like the other groups within IPC.
As you’ll learn in this issue, IPC has plans to make the new group bigger, better, and more modern than before.
Whether you agree with this move or not, I doubt anyone would argue that the relationship between the Designers Council and IPC has ever been a smooth one. IPC didn’t know what to do with the Designers Council, and each chapter acted more or less on its own.
The Designers Council began 28 years ago when Gary Ferrari founded the organization in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, thousands of PCB designers have kept on top of their game by attending “lunch and learn” meetings. Some chapters (e.g., Scott McCurdy’s Orange County Chapter, Bob McCreight’s Silicon Valley Chapter, Luke Hausherr’s San Diego Chapter, Tim Mullin’s Cascade Chapter in Seattle, and Tony Cosentino’s RTP Chapter in North Carolina) have drawn steady attendance to their meetings. But many of the other chapters in North American remain dormant, or nearly so.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the January 2020 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.