I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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Around the holidays, we often see a slowdown in PCB design and manufacturing news. But this holiday season, there’s been no rest for the newsmakers in our industry! In the last week, our daily and weekly newsletters have been chock-full of breaking news and up-to-the-minute technical information that readers like you rely upon every day.

This week, we had important developments in the IPC-2581 design data exchange format. We also published a video roundtable with Siemens Digital Industries Software and Computrol, as well as an update from IPC’s Education Foundation about their student chapter members’ participation in virtual competitions. Happy Holden and Stephen Chavez delve deep into the waters of via design, and a video roundtable with Ventec International Group and Excello Circuits focuses on IMS thermal materials in multilayer stackups in power applications.

There seems to be a trend here. Much of the movement in this industry today involves access to data—the right data, and right now. You can expect that to continue into 2021 and beyond.

IPC Releases IPC-2581 Revision C for PCB Design
Published December 1

There was some big news this week in the world of design data formats. The new IPC-2581 Revision C includes XML with DFX tags, allowing greater bi-directional DFX data exchange in this open-source format. Rigid-flex designs are now supported. IPC-2581C is a key component of the IPC-DPMX format, and it is now optimized for use with the EDA tools of today and tomorrow, as well as Industry 4.0 and the digital twin.

Siemens and Computrol: Achieving Operational Excellence in Electronics Manufacturing
Published December 2

Happy Holden and Nolan Johnson recently held a video roundtable with Zac Elliott, technical marketing engineer at Siemens Digital Industries Software, and Farid Anani, VP of operations at Computrol. Elliott and Anani explain how the drive to increase automation sometimes winds up creating “islands of automation,” which must be connected for true process efficiency. They also discuss methods for making data smarter, as well as process engineers’ need for access to the data they need right away.

Foundations of the Future: IPC Student Chapters Gear Up for Competitions
Published December 2

Many of us are wondering who will replace the “graybeard” PCB designers, design engineers, and process engineers who continue to retire at a rapid pace. IPC is making some good progress attracting—and nurturing—the next generation of PCB technologists. In this column, IPC’s Aaron Birney discusses the organization’s efforts supporting the 38 IPC student chapters in the U.S., including recent virtual student competitions and plans for 2021.

Use of IMS Thermal Materials in Multilayer Stackups for Power Applications
Published December 1

Technical Editor Pete Starkey and I conducted a lively video roundtable around IMS thermal materials with Chris Hanson and Denis McCarthy of Ventec International Group, and Rax Ribadia of Excello Circuits. Hanson and McCarthy detail the development and benefits of using IMS laminates in multilayer stackups in power applications, and Ribadia explains why fabricating high-end PCBs with IMS thermal materials is much like fabricating any other “typical" board.

Stephen Chavez and Happy Holden on Designing Reliable Vias
Published December 2

In this wide-ranging interview, Stephen Chavez and Happy Holden discuss the ins and outs of proper via design, including a look at some of the drivers that are leading designers to create ever-smaller microvias and higher aspect ratios. They also discuss the effects of material choice, fabrication processes, and signal integrity issues on via design, and why true communication is paramount for the design of robust microvias.

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I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

07/15/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
I’m getting a lot of out-of-office replies. Are you all on the beach now? It’s 91 degrees every day here in Atlanta lately, but each afternoon it rains like we’re in a horror movie, and that drops the temperature down to the subtropical arena. Still, I’ll take heat over freezing any day. Things are heating up in our industry too, as we see from my top five choices this week. First-quarter electronic design revenue is up year-on-year, but PCB revenue barely moved the needle YOY. Editor Nolan Johnson spent the week at SEMICON West and the FLEX Conference, and he brings us a review of these conferences, co-located at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As he notes, printed electronic circuits are beginning to gain a foothold in the market.

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

06/03/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Things are heating up in the world of PCB design and manufacturing as well. In the past week, we published quite a bit of news—some good, some not so good. Some of the news is mixed, as we see with the EMS industry shipments rising YOY in April, but falling from the previous month. It’s nice to see NASA investing in American small businesses, but they didn’t really have a choice, did they?

I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

05/27/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
I know I’m not alone in this behavior: Car advertisements during television commercial breaks are as good as invisible to me, until I’m thinking about getting a new car. Only then do I notice them. Rather, I see each one with all my attention and being. If that extends into our industry, then everybody must be itching to pick up some new equipment. This week’s must-reads includes a smattering of new product announcements, along with the news of the IPC European subsidiary.



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