- design007 Magazine
Latest IssuesCurrent Issue
In this issue, we discuss some of the challenges, pitfalls and mitigations to consider when designing non-standard board geometries. We share strategies for designing odd-shaped PCBs, including manufacturing trade-offs and considerations required for different segments and perspectives.
- Events||| MENU
- design007 Magazine
This Month in Design007 Magazine: What Did You Expect From Me, Anyway?May 14, 2020 | Todd Westerhoff, Mentor, a Siemens business
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
As engineers, we work in the middle of a (usually long) process chain. Product requirements come from the front of the chain (marketing), the products we create are physically realized at the back of the chain (“production”), and hopefully get sold to customers who enjoy them and buy more.
It’s sort of like working on an intellectual assembly line—we get requirements and data as input, perform our particular task, and then provide our output as requirements and data to the next person on down the line. It seems easy enough. So, why is it that so many of the requirements we’re supposed to meet and so much of the data we receive is downright bad?
To be fair, “hard data” is usually okay. Component dimensions, material properties, pinout definitions, etc., all tend to be correct because, without that, reliable manufacturing would be impossible. It’s the soft stuff that tends to be the problem. In the case of signal integrity, it’s the simulation models we receive from vendors or clear guidelines on just what is and isn’t achievable from a board layout standpoint or manufacturing cost standpoint that make the analysis job difficult. Sorting through problems with data requires time that no one seems to have—at least, in the world as it existed three months ago—and any delay associated with vetting and reacquiring data presents a huge problem.
Why does this happen? While not an exhaustive list by any means, these are some of the issues I’ve seen.
Poor Definition of Requirements
Simulation models are a great example— even though the syntax for simulation models is well defined, there’s really no good way to assess simulation model quality or fitness for a particular analysis. In my hardware design days, I noted that just about every analysis project had some simulation models show up past the period we had reserved to test them, so we just gave them a quick test and got to work instead. Without fail, we’d use the models for a week or so before problems popped up and realized our analysis had been compromised. It was a 2–3 week hit, every time.
Sometimes the list of items to be delivered just isn’t complete or clear enough, and only part of the information needed is provided. The time it takes to go back to the source and acquire the additional data (and justify why they should take the time to provide it) causes project downtime.
To read this entire feature, which appeared in the May 2020 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.
KYZEN, the global leader in innovative environmentally friendly cleaning chemistries, is thrilled to announce the premier of a new online video series “Ask Dr. Adam.”
I-Connect007 has just released the latest episode of its podcast series, On the Line with..., which focuses on designing for reality in the electronics industry. In this episode, host Nolan Johnson talks with ASC Sunstone VP/Manager Matt Stevenson about CAD tool features and data formats that help designers make better decisions and transfer better designs to manufacturing.
TT Electronics, a leading provider of global manufacturing solutions and engineered technologies, proudly announces the grand opening of its newest manufacturing facility located in Mexicali, Mexico.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) released the following statement from SIA President and CEO John Neuffer in response to the semiconductor manufacturing incentives announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce and GlobalFoundries.
One of my great joys as a grandfather of eight is spending time with them at the park. It doesn't take too long until I'm getting stuck on a slide that is too small for me or on the seesaw, with me on one side and them trying to lift me. At that point, they learn some harsh lessons in physics and how heavy Grandpa really is. A seesaw is a relatively simple device, but it’s a great way to explain a rather complex concept in PCB design: design tradeoffs. Each decision made throughout a design comes with inherent pros and cons.