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IPC Designers Council Viewpoint: Gary FerrariJanuary 25, 2016 | Andy Shaughnessy, PCBDesign007
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
When we started putting together our coverage of the Designers Council, we knew we’d have to get the real scoop from Gary Ferrari. He’s been helping to raise the status of the PCB designer for decades. As co-founder and longtime executive director of the Designers Council, as well as an IPC Master Instructor, Gary has dedicated a big part of his career to PCB design. After decades of service, he was inducted into the IPC Hall of Fame at IPC APEX EXPO this year.
I caught up with Gary and asked him to fill us in on the creation of the Designers Council, and some of the changes he’s seen in the organization in the last 24 years.
Andy Shaughnessy: You’re often referred to as the “Founder of the Designers Council.” How did you get involved and who else helped get the DC started?
Gary Ferrari: As you know, Dieter Bergman and I worked together on many of the standards that affect designers. We also did several designer-oriented workshops. One day, Dieter asked me what more IPC could do for the design community. My answer was very simple: “Mechanical engineers have the ASME, electrical engineers have IEEE, and the designers have sore eyes from staring at their monitors. What we need is a society for board designers, and anyone with a vested interest in board design.”
In 1991, we hit the road and traveled throughout the U.S. to introduce a new design standard. It also gave us an opportunity to poll the attendees to hear their comments on whether an IPC Designers Council was a good idea. We also asked them what they felt its charter should be. The primary feedback was designer education, a forum to discuss common interests, and network building. In summary, they liked the idea of a designer society.
However, an issue was IPC’s membership structure. Their membership is company-based, whereas a society is generally individual-based, similar to SMTA. After consulting with IPC’s legal counsel, we were able to structure the Designers Council as a chapter-based entity, thus allowing for individual membership.
Shaughnessy: Where was the first official DC meeting held, and when?
Ferrari: Its official birth was in 1992. Dieter and I were making the rounds doing design-related workshops at that time, and spreading the word. Chapters started forming at a tremendous rate. We were up to 29 chapters within several months.
What is interesting to note is that a group of Atlanta designers had been meeting together for about a year under the leadership of Fred Pescitelli, at Phoenix Designs. They met to learn from each other, learn about new technologies, etc. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? They listened to what we offered, voted, and Atlanta became the first official chapter of the IPC Designers Council.
No matter where I traveled, the local designers basically said the same things. One that comes to mind was in Atlanta. One of the well-known designers, when asked the how he felt designers were viewed, indicated that the attitude was that designers were “pond scum.” We can certainly laugh at his colorful description, but I received similar answers no matter where I traveled.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the December 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.
This week has been chock full of news about upcoming trade shows and conferences. Clearly, the season is upon us. This week, I-Connect007 reported on PCB West in Santa Clara (often referred to as the show which kicks off trade show season) and the topic of artificial intelligence was everywhere. By the looks of it, not just at the conference, either. For months now, the mainstream media has been gobbling up all sorts of news about generative AI engines, painting the picture that we’ll all lose our jobs to these tools, while also reporting on situations where the results from AI have gotten progressively worse over time.
Fueled by an AI-driven inventory stocking frenzy across the supply chain, TrendForce reveals that Q2 revenue for the top 10 global IC design powerhouses soared to US $38.1 billion, marking a 12.5% quarterly increase.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced it has expanded its design IP portfolio on TSMC’s 3nm (N3E) process—most notably with the addition of the flagship Cadence® 224G Long-Reach (224G-LR) SerDes PHY IP, which has achieved first-pass silicon success.
PCB prototyping is a critical juncture during an electronic device’s journey from concept to reality. Regardless of a project’s complexity, the process of transforming a design into a working board is often enlightening in terms of how a design can be improved before a PCB is ready for full production.
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and CEVA, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Cadence to acquire Intrinsix Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of CEVA and a provider of design engineering solutions focused on the U.S. aerospace and defense industry.