The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-May2015

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May 2015 • The PCB Design Magazine 9 • Engineering, and getting the circuit completed and final on a timely basis. • Engineers. • Getting a complete schematic/rules. • Receiving PCB requirements when starting a design. • Bugs in the software. • The bad design tool. • The density and small pitch of the BGA components. • Keeping the hole-to-copper clearance, especially when routing diff pairs within a BGA area. • Getting out of large BGAs without the use of HDI. • Maximizing the most out of the available space. • Getting it all to fit and be routable and DFM in the board size. • Board size vs, density. • Space for components and space for tracking. • To fit everything in the board space. • Fitting everything into small areas and keeping costs low. • Fitting small component packages elegantly on large transmission lines. • Meeting deadlines. • Time. (3x) • Time to market. • Meeting schedules. • Stackup design. • Impedance control. • Signal integrity. • Getting paid. • Customer stupidity. We see some definite trends here. Communica- tion with engineers seems to be a constant com- plaint among designers, and that's reflected here. Do any of you have a great working relationship with your engineers? It may be just an interdisciplinary difference in working styles, but there's certainly a disconnect between designers and engineers. The lack of time and shrinking board space are other repeat answers. I'm not sure that there's a fix for these problems; time-to-market and board space are always decreasing. Then there's the bad EDA tool, another constant refrain from design- ers. And you have to love the last answer, "cus- tomer stupidity." Finally, we asked, "What is the most impor- tant thing you have learned on the job in the past year?" Here are some of the more interesting com- ments: • To reduce my hourly rate by a factor of 3 and multiply my reported work hours by a factor of 5. • That I could have made a lot more money with a business/management degree! • Communication is critical no matter where you are located. • Take more time to evaluate parallel designs done by outside vendors before setting design schedule. • Workarounds for lousy PCB software. • There are many "experts" on CAD layout who want to help me. • Not to design on the edge of technology. • Good time estimation for different kind of projects. • More people involved means more delays and more chaos. • That all PCB vendors are not honest. • Allegro PCB Editor is a real mother to learn how to use. • Allow more time for the mechanical designer to finished his part of the design. • How to handle DDR3 implementation. • Cost is not king. • Breaking out .5 mm BGAs. • Nothing. As always, we appreciate the input from ev - eryone who responded to this survey. You can be sure that we'll be pinging you again in the future. These surveys help us stay informed about the challenges you face, and they also provide you with a soapbox. If you want to make your voice heard, answer one of our surveys. We just might post your comments. PCBDESIGN andy shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. he has been covering PCB design for 15 years. he can be reached by clicking here. the shaughnessy report THE READERS SPEAk continues

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