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We’re seeing an increase in optimism as more people are vaccinated and states under lockdown begin flipping open their shutters. This positive outlook is spreading, albeit slowly.
There’s a lot going on in the industry, and we see this reflected in this week’s Top Five picks. One contributor makes the case for another Roaring Twenties, this time led by Industry 4.0. IPC APEX EXPO is making a big impression, even virtually, as the top technical papers are announced. North American PCB numbers are up year-on-year, but with a caveat. Siemens EDA has a new website that unifies the different organizations under one umbrella. And columnist Christine Davis shares a story in which one customer left her with “nothing to lose, and everything to gain.” You may find yourself cheering for Christine as she goes “Network” on a customer that keeps ghosting her.
Best Technical Paper at IPC APEX EXPO 2021 Selected
Published February 25
IPC APEX EXPO gets under way, virtually, in 10 days. In the meantime, let’s congratulate Sarah Czaplewski, Roger Krabbenhoft and Junyang Tang of IBM for taking home the Best Technical Paper award for “Signal Integrity, Reliability, and Cost Evaluation of PCB Interlayer Crosstalk Reduction.” The paper will be presented on March 11; you know that designers and design engineers will love this.
Her Voice: Nothing to Lose and Everything to Win
Published February 24
The number of views that an article gets in the first 48 hours are a great indication of its “magnetism.” If an article takes off in the first two days, we know that readers were moved as much by emotion as job-related curiosity. This SMT007 column by Christine Davis lifted off like a rocket; I can picture all of our readers cheering when she slams down a file folder and asks a customer to explain what the hell is going on. This is definitely a hot column.
Siemens EDA Launches New Home Website
Published February 23
Siemens EDA has a brand-new website, https://eda.sw.siemens.com, marking the official end of the Mentor name. Siemens EDA, formerly Mentor, A Siemens Business, is now part of Siemens Digital Industries Software. We’ll all have to stop calling the company Mentor, but knowing my colleagues in the industry, that probably won’t happen overnight.
Predicting a ‘Roaring Twenties’ Innovation Boom
Published February 24
The decade didn’t start off too well, but freelance writer and supply chain specialist Hailey Lynne McKeefy believes that we may be about to experience years of growth and innovation. As the pandemic subsides and Industry 4.0 and smart processes take hold, are we due to experience the Roaring Twenties 2.0?
North American PCB Shipments Up 4% in January 2021
Published February 26
We have some good news and some bad news about January’s North American PCB shipments: They’re up 4% over the same period a year ago, but down 16% from December. As IPC’s Shawn DuBravac explains, some of this slowdown is due to the semiconductor shortage. I think we’re due for an uptick in the next few months!