The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-Apr2016

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April 2016 • The PCB Design Magazine 9 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 16 years. He can be reached by clicking here. received an I-Connect007 button, and we gave out 007 stickers, too. We almost ran out of "merch." Some of you may not be aware of this, but we also had a crew in Shanghai providing Real Time video coverage of the CPCA Show, which was somehow scheduled the same week as IPC APEX EXPO. There are 52 weeks to choose from. How on earth did those big industry shows end up in the same week? Our pro - duction crew worked overtime that week! It's hard to top the presence we have at a show. On the conference side, the Design Forum was a big hit. Keynote speaker Dale Parker of Google X gave an awesome presentation that focused on Google's driverless cars and other just plain cool stuff. He stressed that Google X won't take on a project unless they believe that it can achieve a 10x increase in productivity, compared to most companies that are excited to see a 10% increase for any project. Parker, a former PCB designer at Shure, then called on the PCB design tool vendors to throw out all of their 1990s-era code and redesign their software from the ground up. And as Parker pointed out, the EDA compa- nies will eventually have to build artificial in- telligence into their flows if they want to truly increase their tools' performance. Would you like to see AI in your favorite design tool? The tool vendors I spoke with were noncommittal when I asked if they'd be scrapping their exist- ing code soon, or introducing AI. Some design- ers would say there's already too much AI built into their tools. It was a busy but fun week. And to top it off, our own Patty Goldman, managing editor of The PCB Magazine, was inducted into the IPC Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Patty! Next year, we're back to San Diego for IPC APEX EXPO. It's going to be hard to top this year's event, but it's hard to have a bad time in San Diego. Of Designers and Engineers When we survey our readers and ask them to name their big- gest challenges, PCB designers sometimes name their design en- gineers as the main culprits. It happens often enough that it got us thinking. Why is there a split between some PCB designers and their design engineering co- workers? Some designers and EEs blame it on a simple lack of communication. And more engineers are performing PCB design and lay- out now. Some designers see them as angling to take over their jobs. So we asked some engineers and design- ers to discuss the reasons for the divide, and what can be done to address this problem. This month we have a variety of feature articles, in- cluding a cover story by design instructor Rick Hartley, a man who's been known to tell it like it is. We also have a feature by Analog Home's Steve Hageman, as well as interviews with lead designer Andy Critcher of Total Board Solutions and Randy Faucette, director of engineering at Better Boards Inc. This was one of the most interesting topics we've had lately. Is there a schism between your company's designers and design engineers? Read on, and please let me know what you think! PCBDESIGN Leaving Las vegas, on a high note

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