We’re moving on into 2021, and there’s quite a bit going on in the world of PCB design, fabrication, and assembly. IPC APEX EXPO is fast approaching, and I know a lot of you will be attending, albeit virtually. In this week’s Top Five, columnist Eric Camden provides a how-to guide for PCBA technologists planning their IPC APEX EXPO schedule. And we highlight an interview with members of USPAE about their new consortium dedicated to providing a safe supply chain for the DoD.
You can also read about IPC’s new digital twin standard, which provides a framework for managers interested in getting about the DT train. Joe Fjelstad reviews The Innovators, a technological history book written by Walter Isaacson. And Pulsonix continues its move into the North American market with its newest release, Pulsonix 11.0, which boasts up to 80% gains in speed, courtesy of new graphics functionality more commonly seen in the world of gaming.
Quest for Reliability: Here We Go (Virtual) Again
Published February 5
In this column, Eric Camden explains why virtual shows such as IPC APEX EXPO, despite their lack of in-person contact, can still be beneficial to SMT attendees. He discusses some of the assembly-related classes and task groups meeting during IPC APEX EXPO, and the need to plan your schedule wisely because of the multitude of sessions and events planned. As Eric points out, “One good thing about data is it stays the same no matter how it is presented.”
USPAE Launches $42M DoD Consortium
Published February 11
We have a terrific interview with Chris Peters, Kevin Sweeney and Shane Whiteside of the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE). The group recently launched the Defense Electronics Consortium, an organization created with a $42 million DoD grant. They discuss the mission of USPAE and the consortium, which was created to ensure that the DoD always has access to a secure domestic electronics supply chain.
IPC Releases IPC-2551, International Standard for Digital Twins
Published February 8
There’s been a lot of talk about the “digital twin” lately, but how many of us know exactly what that term entails? What are the first steps for a company owner interested in moving to the digital twin model? IPC-2551, International Standard for Digital Twins, has the answers to these questions, and many more. This new set of frameworks defines the digital twin cell-based architecture and includes a self-assessment feature that lets managers understand their companies’ digital twin readiness level.
Joe Fjelstad's Book Review: The Innovators
Published February 8
Walter Isaacson is one interesting cat. This is a guy for whom CEO of CNN and editor of Time were mere stepping stones to his true calling in life: writer of non-fiction best-sellers. He’s particularly famous for his biographies of DaVinci, Einstein, Kissinger, and Jobs. Columnist Joe Fjelstad has a review of Isaacson’s book The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, which traces key developments in technology. If you like technological history, Joe says this book is for you.
Customers Experience Speed Increases of up to 80% on PCB Designs Using Pulsonix 11.0
Published February 9
UK-based Pulsonix has been making inroads into the North American EDA market, and this new release may help them in that endeavor. Many of the speed improvements, such as DRCs that are now four times faster, are the result of rewriting the graphics engine so that it can take advantage of the graphic cards used in the gaming industry. Take note: There’s a lot going on in the EDA world going into 2021.