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PCBD-Nov2014

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8 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2014 by Andy Shaughnessy i-CoNNeCT007 ThE ShAuGhNESSY REPORT Who is Your EDA Company's Customer? column At first glance, that sounds like a simple question, with a simple answer. Some of you may be thinking, "I'm the EDA tool company's customer. My tool provider serves me, the de- signer." But I've heard from a growing number of PCB designers who disagree. Not all designers are in this group; it's definitely not a majority. But here's a helpful composite of the various stories I've collected from designers lately: The company's designers discover that their company is considering a new layout tool when the CAD manager tells them. The CAD manager only found out by accident from his boss, or the purchasing manager, CTO, CEO, or any of the other executive types who need to sign off on this sort of thing. If you're talking about multi- ple seats of software that runs around six figures (at least officially), the corner office folks will have to be involved. So, the search for a new PCB design suite is underway. The designers have used other design tools at previous jobs, so they know a thing or two about the tool landscape. The designers do a little research, talk to their designer friends, check out a listserv forum or two, attend a trade show, and recommend the tool suite they think is best for their work. Then upper management takes over, and upper management is not often composed of ex-PCB designers. Managers fly in reps from various EDA companies, and the three-hour

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