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PCBD-Nov2015

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34 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2015 Shaughnessy: is there anything else you'd like to add? Baker: What has been really interesting is seeing the way designers choose new parts. We often hear that they'll choose one part over another just because there's a symbol or PCB footprint available for it on SnapEDA. On some level it makes sense: people will often take the path of least resistance. But at the same time, I wonder if engineers should be making important de- sign decisions based on the availability of CAD data. So we're looking forward to levelling that playing field going forward by providing semi- conductor companies with analytics about the parts engineers are selecting, and making sure their data is well represented on SnapEDA. Shaughnessy: i appreciate your time. good luck. Baker: Thank you. PCBDESIGN SNAPEDA: THE FEMALE-OWNED STARTuP REvOLuTIONIzING CAD DATA From laptops and televisions to smartphones and tablets, semiconductors have made ad- vanced electronics possible. These types of de- vices are so pervasive, in fact, that Northwestern Engineering's Matthew Grayson says we are liv- ing in the "Semiconductor Age." Grayson's research team has created a new mathematical method that has made semicon- ductor characterization more efficient, more pre- cise, and simpler. By flipping the magnetic field and repeating one measurement, the method can quantify whether or not electrical conduc- tivity is uniform across the entire material. "up until now, everyone would take separate pieces of the material, measure each piece, and compare differences to quantify non-uniformi- ty," Grayson said. "That means you need more time to make several different measurements and extra material dedicated for diagnostics." Grayson's research was published on october 28 online in the journal Physical review letters. Graduate student Wang zhou is first author of the paper. undergraduate heun-Mo Yoo used a Global McCormick Student Ambassador Award to travel to ETh zurich in Switzerland to help grow the samples and conduct resistivity mea- surements. one reason semiconductors have so many applications is because researchers and manu- facturers can control their properties. By adding impurities to the material, researchers can mod- ulate the semiconductor's electrical properties. Grayson's method can be applied to samples as large as a 12-inch wafer or as small as an ex- foliated 10-micron flake, allowing researchers to profile the subtleties in a wide range of semicon- ductor samples. The method is especially useful for 2-D materials, such as graphene, which are too small for researchers to make several mea- surements across the surface. Grayson has filed a patent on the method, and he hopes the new technique will find use in academic laboratories and industry. "There are companies that mass produce semiconductors and need to know if the mate- rial is uniform before they start making individu- al computer chips," Grayson said. "our method will give them better feedback during sample preparation. We believe this is a fundamental breakthrough with broad impact." A New Slant on Semiconductor Characterization feature interview

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