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Design007-Jan2020

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28 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 tronic shortage issues. I teamed up with Vince Mazur of Altium, and it was a pleasure work- ing with him again. I dealt with a lot more of the challenges facing us. We have four major challenges that we are facing. The first challenge is general advancements in technology. Technology is advancing so quickly that it is unbelievable that we used to joke about Moore's law and transistors dou- bling in an IC package every two years; now, that's down to almost 16 months. The transis- tor industry is doubling that. We're looking at building from the ground using single atoms and molecules as ICs. The second challenge that we're facing is re- lated to changes in our ECAD software. The tools are constantly improving, which is great, and that's why I work with Altium; they're always giving us the best tools possible. The third challenge is the parts shortage issues. This is a conversation we had almost a year and a half ago now. Shaughnessy: The 0402 shortage is over, but now there are probably more on the way. Watson: Yes. There are waves of shortages that happen, and about the time it's tapering down, you think, "We got through this." Then, an- other one works its way into a product line. I don't think there's real stability yet in the com- ponent availability issue, so that's going to be something that is going to constantly be a chal- lenge for PCB designers. The fourth challenge that I gave to them was more of a challenge to designers. The industry does not need more good designers; we need great designers who are on the cutting edge and know how to face these challenges and keep moving forward. They need to continue to learn and adjust. In "Heartbreak Ridge," Clint Eastwood's character earns the Medal of Honor, and the theme is "adapt and overcome." That should be the mantra of all PCB designers nowadays. We have to adapt our processes. The old ways of doing things are not going to work in the fu- ture, so we constantly need to keep learning and adjusting the way we do things. Barry Matties: Some of the work that Happy has done—the "old way"—is becoming the new way because it was kept a secret, as in landless vias. In some cases, the new is the old coming around. We need to be mindful of that too. Watson: True. I'm still hoping for spandex and polyester to make a comeback from the '70s. Matties: You can start the trend (laughs). Happy Holden: Disco will rise again. Matties: Mike Creeden was showing that in his presentation yesterday about landless vias. Holden: I was surprised to see that. Matties: Landless vias were something that you were doing 30 years ago but as a secret. Holden: Because we thought landless vias wouldn't work with our Japanese partners. They said, "Test it," and the test showed that we were right and, low and behold, it was good. Nobody in the industry would believe us, so we said, "Let's not write a paper. Let's keep it a se- cret because it's not worth our energy to con- vince the people who refuse to like it." Matties: I appreciate what you're saying. But this is also a case in point where we need to be mindful of things that do work that we might improve on. The transistor industry is doubling that. We're looking at building from the ground using single atoms and molecules as ICs.

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