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Page 22 of 121

AUGUST 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 23 of preventable redesign of projects that were previously considered complete. Augmenting traditional DFM with "design for availability" of components is required to provide full spectrum DFM assessment. De- signers can simply open their bill of materials (BOM) anytime throughout the design pro- cess and have immediate real-time insight into part availability. Components can be created with a number of ranked, alternative manu- facturer part choices that can be automatical- ly included in the BOM, if the primary part is unavailable. is process brings inherent resil- iency to the component-sourcing aspect of de- sign, allowing designers to remain focused on design, while providing early warning for part supply risks. Bringing full spectrum DFM awareness for- ward into the design context, where it can be leveraged early and oen, also has the second- ary benefit of improving the designer's skill set. As issues are identified, the designer will gain exposure on how to avoid the actions that trig- gered DFM validation flags. When institution- alized across design teams, DFM awareness will improve the entire team of designers. is pro- vides the best of both worlds, DFM resilience, with little overhead on the designer. In addi- tion, as designers improve their DFM aware- ness, they increase their value in the industry. 'Understanding of Your Destination' Referencing Covey's definition of beginning with the end in mind, it is paramount for de- signers to have a clear understanding of their destination. In the context of PCB fabrica- tion and assembly, this implies having a com- prehensive understanding of the capabilities of the chosen fabrication and assembly pro- viders. Typically, this capability is detailed in a document available from the provider that must be migrated into a collection of rules and constraints applied within the PCB design en- vironment. Some manufacturers provide their capabili- ties in the form of a rules file that can be imme- diately used in the PCB design environment, but there is little consistency across the thou- sands of PCB manufacturers and assembly ser- vices across the globe. At the same time, PCB design, fabrication, and assembly complexi- ty continue to escalate, and manufacturing ca- pacity is getting tighter. In assessing the future of board level design, one may want to consider the history of IC de- sign. While the two areas differ dramatically in their targeted implementation of desired elec- tronic system behavior, they share the same generalized, define–validate–implement de- sign cycle. IC designers have had to be all but obsessed about their target fabrication process early in their design cycle. e library files they rely upon for the hardware description lan- guage (HDL) design compilation are deemed "signoff quality" by the IC fabricator and em- body comprehensive details of their specif- ic fabrication process. As HDL-based devel- opment generated design complexity quicker than it could be validated in the early '90s, im- proved design verification tools and method- ologies were developed to fill the gap. e IC domain also shares some historical roots with board level design. Schematics were initially used for design, later to be replaced by HDLs and, yes, designs were submitted or "taped-

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