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NOVEMBER 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 35 into any category, such as companies that are brokers, but then they start buying manufac- turing facilities. Banton: The industry seems to vacillate. In the IC world, you have fabless, but now we're flipping back to systems companies. Apple, Google, and Amazon are all doing the whole stack because they can see value there. That changes how a company looks at their tools because they own the whole process. How do those all talk together? How do they work? How does the chip in the package connect to the board in an optimal fashion? That's the value they can provide to their customers that no one else can give. In a good way, it changes all of the conversations we're going to have be- cause it's less siloed. Shaughnessy: We see some new people coming into the design sector. Do you see that? Banton: It's happening, but not as fast as a lot of people would like, and part of it is figuring out how to catch up with what a modern engi- neering PCB designer needs to know. We might be stuck in the old paradigm where you had an EE and a PCB designer. What they teach you in school is EE-specific, but not necessarily PCB- specific. Signal integrity is a specialist thing that's "black magic" to many. How do we take those things and teach them in a way that de- signers need to know today? Shaughnessy: People joke about how Howard Johnson's book, High-Speed Digital Design: A Handbook of Black Magic, is everyday stuff now. If you still think it's black magic, then you have problems. Banton: Yes, because your board has all of that. If you don't understand it, then you're asking for trouble, which goes back to how much is be- ing put on the PCB design engineer these days. Shaughnessy: Earlier, you talked about how tools have evolved. Twenty years ago, you could do flex, but you had to coax the tool. Now, EDA tools come optimized for flex. Banton: It has become table stakes. The com- pany thinks, "I need to get more functionality into a smaller and smaller case, and I need it to be cost-effective. I need it to be fault-tolerant." And flex is a great choice for that, but it pres- ents some unique design challenges. Then, they say, "We have two rigid boards we're flex- ing. What if I want to print it on some kind of non-planar surface or if I want to have it totally flexible?" It starts changing the way someone might think about how they do these things. Shaughnessy: What do you think about printed electronics? Banton: Printed electronics make sense for many reasons. Companies are asking about the advantages of printed electronics, not just be- cause they can do it. But how does this ben- efit the industry and business? What new de- sign problems are created? It's like your anal- ogy to how flex was several years ago. Printed electronics are in that mode where people are making it work, but they're forcing it; it's not natural, at least not yet. Shaughnessy: A lot of things are going on now. We hear lip service from China that the gov- ernment is cracking down on people pirating software like Cadence's. Do you see any evi- dence of that? Banton: I don't have a ton of visibility there, but I think as these companies become more glob- al with offices in North America and Europe, they see how these groups are able to leverage not just the tools but the companies that sup- port it. If you pirate software, you're not going to get help; you're not going to be able to col- Printed electronics are in that mode where people are making it work, but they're forcing it; it's not natural, at least not yet.

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