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


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Top5_reads_303.jpgA perennial and yet irregular category on the popular game show Jeopardy is “potpourri.” My dad, as I was growing up, pronounced the word as “pot-poury.” It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that my girlfriend’s mom—who had a penchant for a soupcon of French euphemism in her tête-à-têtes—pronounced the word properly: “po-pu-ree.” Such are the risks of growing up just a bit rural.

On Jeopardy, the category is defined as “a mixing of unrelated, leftover questions from previous shows, so we’re lumping them under ‘Potpourri.’”

Now far be it for me to characterize this week’s top five as unrelated or leftover. Nor are they recycled from earlier weeks. This week’s topics are, however, heavier on mixture: a little bit from all over. There’s an industry sales report, Pete Starkey conference report, a look both backward and forward with Taiyo’s John Fix, an Altium/Amazon AWS working relationship in the news, and a brand-new I-007ebook on SMT Inspection from Koh Young’s Brent Fischthal.

Yep. A healthy mix of variety this week, doing “Potpourri” proud.

North American PCB Industry Sales Begin 2021 Up 4% 
Published February 26

The IPC book-to-bill ratio weighs in at 1.14 for January, up 17.6% over January 2020. Hold this news up to the European Semiconductor Industry Association report that global semiconductor sales in 2020 logged a 6.5% increase from 2019, and it looks like the wave of increased demand is moving down the pipeline toward the assembly facilities.

2020: A Year of Learning, Innovation for Taiyo America 
Published March 1

Pete Starkey has a virtual visit with John Fix, director of Sales and Marketing at Taiyo America, where they discuss the changes taking place because of COVID-19 restrictions, and some new products—including a new dry film solder mask for flexible circuits. Starkey and Fix’s discussion of how this new product works makes for interesting reading.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: Cleanliness 
Published March 1

Cleanliness was the focus of this informative and enlightening event on Feb. 17, 2021, introduced by EIPC technical director Tarja Rapala-Virtanen and moderated by EIPC board member Christian Behrendt, CEO of German PCB fabricator ILFA. Pete Starkey brings his trademark summary of proceedings, including presentations from Freddy Gilbert, Professor Rajan Ambat, Emma Hudson, and Christian Behrendt.

Altium, AWS Collaborate to Advance Electronic Design 
Published February 26

Cloud-based data sharing continues to move to the mainstream in all areas of modern life, and the engineering disciplines are no exception. For example, the Altium 365 cloud-based platform and Altium Designer is working to create “the most connected design experience” in the industry, streamlining the product development process through thoughtful sharing of centrally-stored design data. To achieve this goal, Altium selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host Altium 365, the cloud platform for collaborative PCB design and realization.

New I-007eBook Highlights SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond 
Published March 3

If you have an interest (and who doesn’t?) in PCB board inspection, you know that even engineers and layout specialists are involved in making inspection succeed by the decisions made during the design phase). This new I-0007eBook from Koh Young is a must read. In The Printed Circuit Assembler’s Guide to SMT Inspection: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond, author Brent Fischthal takes readers through a brief history of SMT inspection before discussing the benefits of data-driven analytics and how intelligent software solutions can help companies analyze and optimize the production process.

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