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68 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2021 footprints on the design for alternative com- ponents in case there is a shortage for our first choice. is has resulted in some interesting layouts to accommodate everything. Plan Ahead Benjamin Franklin said, "By failing to pre- pare, you are preparing to fail." I like to follow the three "P's" of getting through a crisis: plan, prepare, and be proactive. Stay ahead of the problem by not starting with a design that is already in trouble. Engi- neers will oen use a previous design, think- ing that those components are available when many may be obsolete or in a depreciated state. We cannot assume that everything is okay. If you see that parts are already having stock problems or are not recommended for new designs, that situation will not get any better over time. It's best to realize that the further someone gets into a design, the harder it is to make changes without impacting your wallet or schedule. SMT007 John Watson, CID, is a customer success manager at Altium. To read his past columns, or to con- tact Watson, click here. When you bump into someone in the workplace or at your local coffee shop, you might call that an "encounter." That's the scientific term for it, too. As part of urgent efforts to fight COVID-19, a science is rapidly developing for measuring the number of encounters and the different levels of interaction in a group. Now, researchers are applying that science to a concept they have created called "encounter met- rics." They have developed an encrypted method that can be applied to a device such as your phone to help with the ultimate goal of slowing down or preventing future pandemics. The method is also applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their research is explained in a pilot study pub- lished in the Journal of Research of NIST. Encounter metrics measure the levels of interac- tions between members of a population. There are numerous levels of interactions because there are so many different ways people can interact with one another in different environments. To mitigate the spread of an infectious disease there is the assumption that less communication and interaction with people in a community is essen- tial. Fewer interactions among people means there is less of a chance of the disease spreading from one person to another. "We need to measure that. It's important to develop technology to measure that and then see how we can use that technology to shape our working envi- ronment to slow future pandemics," said NIST researcher René Peralta, an author of the NIST study. (Source: National Institute of Stan- dards and Technology) Photo: NIST researchers developed a crypto- graphic system using encounter metrics. Encoun- ter ID is a way of labeling an encounter between two people through a random number not linked to the device each person carries. To gener- ate the randomized number Z, each device cal- culates using their private info (a and b) and what the other device is broadcasting (X and Y). Cryptography ensures that device A's Z is the same as Device B's Z. NIST Develops Privacy-Preserving 'Encounter Metrics'

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