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Design007-Oct2019

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30 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2019 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Editors Andy Shaughnessy and Nolan John- son recently spoke with Lee Ritchey of Speed- ing Edge about the direction of PCB design. Lee also discusses some of the changes that he has seen in this industry over the past 40 years and some of the technological drivers that are causing designers to think more like electrical engineers than ever before. Andy Shaughnessy: Lee, can you start with a 30,000-foot view of PCB design? You said you have an example of how drastically speeds have increased in the last 25 years. Lee Ritchey: When I started working at 3Com on internet products, it was hard work to make things run at 10 megabits per second. Today, I have clients who ship products at 400 giga- bits per second every day; that's 40,000 to 1 in about 24 years. Shaughnessy: That's crazy. When I first started covering this in the '90s, designers had started to focus on signal integrity, but nobody talked about power integrity until about 10 years ago. Ritchey: I'd say that happened longer than 10 years ago because I started with terabit routers in 1999. But you're right that most of the world got into power about 10 years ago. And there were no books, etc., of course; we had to make it all up. To give you an idea of what a two-bil- lion transistor IC might look like, the last one John Zasio and I did was 0.9 volts, and the cur- rent was 160 amps. It takes 80 amps to start your car, so how do you get that kind of cur- rent to an IC? First, how do you create it, and second, how do you get it where it has to go? However, there is a silver lining. Fifteen years ago, everybody had problems with EMI, but it has virtually vanished as a problem because the villain that created the noise on PCBs was parallel buses, which are gone as well as elec- tromagnetic interference (EMI). I used to work on an EMI problem every two weeks, year- round, but haven't had one in two years. Shaughnessy: Designers seem to have a love- hate relationship with their EDA tools, but Lee Ritchey on the Direction of PCB Design

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