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Design007-Jan2019

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JANUARY 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 37 designers, it's imperative for us to control the risk of the products we design, and also to send up warning flags if electrical considerations won't be met with a certain stackup. We work very closely with the electrical engineers and the product designers to make sure that we design for manufacturing. It's huge. Shaughnessy: Now, you are on the automotive side of things. Many people are blaming automotive and cellphone companies for taking all of the components. We're seeing 50- week lead times for some capacitors. Are you grabbing all the caps? Schattke: I think that part manufacturers make more money on active parts than they do on passive parts. We're seeing some big players drop off their production, and we don't see new actors coming online for that. A lot of it is the capital expense of building those kinds of plants because it's just not as profitable as building something for active components. It's critical to work with your suppliers— which includes your passive vendor suppliers— to make sure that you've ensured your supply chain. You want to forecast what you're going to need and then work with them to make sure they can meet that forecast. Yes, the problem has to be addressed much earlier in the supply chain, and your engineers have to work with it. Basically, you want to drive supply chain decisions as early as possible so that you ensure a robust supply for the product you're building. Shaughnessy: That's interesting. We didn't hear much too much about parts shortages until a couple of months ago. Now some components are 80 weeks out. How can you design a board if the parts aren't available for a year and a half? Schattke: We had this exact problem in 1999 with Y2K. All the same parts were under allocation or shortage, which is the same problem we see today. Business is humming right now. I've heard that we have the highest job participation rate in the United States in 49 years or something like that. I guess it's just crazy good right now for a lot of people. Business is booming everywhere. To have supply chain problems where you can't get enough of something is a fantastic problem to have from a business perspective. For the person who has to go buy that thing to make their product, it's a bad problem, but these are good problems to be having. Shaughnessy: It's definitely a great time to be in this industry. Everyone is working, and companies are innovating nonstop. Schattke: We're seeing miniaturization that's enabling all kinds of products we haven't seen before—some really, really cool stuff. This is an exciting time to be alive. There are so many people working on so many different, innovative products. It has been fun and exciting to talk with people at AltiumLive about all the neat stuff that people are trying and doing. Shaughnessy: Great meeting you, Carl. Thanks again. Schattke: Thank you, Andy. DESIGN007 Schattke and Julie Ellis team teaching at AltiumLive.

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