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MARCH 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 9 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of Design007 Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 18 years. He can be reached by clicking here. tips and techniques. Multek's Dana Korf and ThingWeaver's Gary Carter discussed efforts to develop a truly digital fab data package in one .XML file. As Dana said, over 90% of new designs arrive with incorrect and/or missing data, often in drawings and other hard cop- ies. He explained why data must be completely digital for Industry 4.0 manufacturers to suc- ceed. (He also pointed out that there are over 2,000 fab shops near his China office.) Jan Pederson of PCB broker Elmatica dis- cussed CircuitData, their new open source lan- guage that works with IPC-2581, Gerber and ODB++, helping to organize the data handoff into a single file that fabricators welcome. Jan was careful to explain that he's here to work with, not replace, the existing data formats, and he encouraged any interested parties to get involved with this open language. L3's Robb McCord, CID, covered some of the challenges designers face when exchanging files between ECAD and MCAD environments. He demonstrated a method that mapped MCAD IDF files to a new type of IDF file that can be imported by ECAD users, while and ECAD file can be exported as DFX and post-processed for use by MCAD engineers. Craig Armenti of Mentor also focused on ECAD-MCAD collabo- ration by way of IDX, and pointed out ways to address many challenges caused by this con- vergence of the different worlds. TTM's Julie Ellis had a great presentation on design considerations that can increase cost and reduce manufacturability. As she said, if you don't need to have 3/3 spaces and traces, why not get 4/4 or 5/5? Some designers just make their boards needlessly expensive, though she added that she has her regular customers "trained" to give her the best designs for the job. Out on the show floor, much of the chatter focused on IPC's demo of the new CXF (Con- nected Factory Exchange) protocol, which allows managers to check real-time stats on each SMT machine from a smartphone. I pulled it up on my phone, and I watched the tem- perature profiles and numbers of parts placed changing constantly. A process engineer might be able to telecommute a few days a week with more tools like this! One item worth noting: DesignCon 2019 and IPC APEX EXPO 2019 take place the same week next year, September 29-31. This is going to be a big problem for companies who attend or exhibit at both shows. Some fabricators have booths at both shows, and some engineers teach classes at both shows. It'll be interesting to see how this works out. Tool Time Design tool technology is better than ever, and PCB designers now work with EDA tools that contain more horsepower and functional- ity than anyone could have imagined not long ago. For this issue of Design007, our expert contributors discussed their newest tools and technology. First, Editor Kelly Dack sits down with Sam Chitwood of Cadence Design Sys- tems to discuss the newest Sigrity power integ- rity software, and how it may help designers preclude so-called "exothermal events." Chuck Ferry of Mentor explains how HyperLynx now allows designers to automate SERDES channel validation early in the design process. Columnist Tim Haag examines some of our newest technology and ponders whether this will help draw more young people into a PCB design career. Natasha Baker of SnapEDA explains how her small company creates so much of its technology from scratch, and how it has allowed the company to grow so much in only five years. And Anro Kolk of the Esto- nian Electronics Industries Association dis- cusses the explosive growth of technology in his country in the past few decades. It's hard to believe it's already March, but at least the snow has melted in Atlanta. See you next month! DESIGN007

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