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Design007-Dec2020

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12 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team I-Connect007 recently spoke with Lee Ritchey about the subject of continuous improvement with a focus on DFM, specifically looking at the benefits of reducing the number of respins by just one. A longtime instructor and one of the authors of Right the First Time: A Practical Handbook on High-Speed PCB and Sys- tem Design, Lee has spent decades preaching the value of solid DFM practices, so we asked him to dis- cuss why so many OEMs accept multiple respins with each design project and what designers could do to eliminate just one spin. He also shares some of the lessons in reducing respins that he learned in the early days of Silicon Valley. Andy Shaughnessy: We've been talking about mak- ing 2021 the year of continuous improvement, and we came up with an idea. What if we eliminated just one spin from every cycle and kept that as a goal? Of course, your book Right the First Time came to the top of our conversation. Many compa- nies continue to build respins into the project budget, but what about the wasted hours? Lee Ritchey: You picked a topic that I actually know something about. I have stories. Some of them are horror stories! But if you have one less respin than the competition, you're at the market first. That has been historically the business model of Intel and IBM. Of course, Intel and AMD have roughly the same kind of processors, with one exception: AMD has never been first to market. Originally, that was because they had to spin the silicon a couple of times. The people at Intel realized the person who's first to market gets to define the playing field, and they spent huge amounts of money on simulation tools. One of my favorite stories is the first Pentium processor. It was the first time a proces- sor had been shipped on the first artwork. They got a lot of press on that. During the press conference, somebody asked how they did it, and the project manager said, "We didn't cut silicon until we got a DOS prompt on the emulator." They spent the money on upfront design, and that's sort of defined that field ever since. There were two where I have really clear experience. One of them was with 3Com, where they would assume they were going to spin the design and rush to get a prototype. The usual reason was so that the engineers Lee Ritchey on Reducing Respins by One

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