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10 The PCB Design Magazine • June 2016 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. lines, is taking the fun out of the job. They also believe that many OEM customers are not sav- vy, shall we say, about the basics of PCB design and manufacturing, which further frustrates the designer and exacerbates the problem. Designers, you made it look easy, and now customers expect you to work your magic, and to do it quickly. It doesn't look like it's going to get any better. As I said, it's human nature. Your customers are going to keep squeezing ev- ery mil of available space out of your board real estate. Unless you plan to retire soon, you're go- ing to have to keep working with increasingly finer spaces and traces. (And please don't retire. We don't have any youngsters in line to replace you.) This month, we look into the drive toward increasingly tighter tolerances, with a variety of approaches that designers can take when things really get small. In an interview for our cover story, Albert Gaines of HiGain Design Services discusses some of his tricks for designing boards with fine spaces and traces, as well as methods for fanning out from ultra-fine-pitch BGAs. David Ledger-Thomas, a design engineer with Honeywell Aerospace, explains how techniques for designing boards with tight tolerances can vary from EDA tool to EDA tool, because of something as simple as a rounding error. Mark Thompson of Prototron Circuits discusses fine- line designs from his viewpoint in the CAM shop, and he lays out some DFM tips that can keep your own CAM guy from calling you late on a Friday with questions about your design. We also have some great columns in this issue. Barry Olney of In-Circuit Design viewed Howard Johnson's newly released High-Speed Digital Design Collection, made up of seminars presented over 20 years at Oxford, and he breaks down many of Johnson's methods for taming the "black magic" of signal integrity. And John Coonrod of Rogers Corporation discusses some of the challenges related to applying solder- mask over RF circuitry and components, and some of the trade-offs that should be consid- ered as well. We also bring you an interesting interview with Mike Brown, CID, owner of the PCB design consulting firm Interconnect De- sign Solutions. He explains how collaboration is vital for success of each design project, and why designers should all strive to achieve DFP (design for profitability). Be sure to check out the special section on IPC's recent IMPACT Washington, D.C. lobby- ing event, with numerous interviews conducted by Patty Goldman, managing editor of The PCB Magazine. Patty interviewed all of the industry's movers and shakers. You won't find coverage like this anywhere. As we head into the summer, don't forget to take The PCB Design Magazine and Design007 with you to the beach or the mountains. We're ready when you are! See you next month. PCBDESIGN LET'S GET SMALL

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