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Design007-Jun2018

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8 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 If one PCB is good, aren't two or more boards even better? That is the question! For most of the PCB's history, electronic devices contained a single circuit board. But that was back in the "olden days," and that time has passed. Over the past few decades, we've seen a gradual expansion of the number of multi- board electronic devices. Products are more complex now, plain and simple. There's no way that anyone could build a car, not to mention an autonomous car, with a single PCB in 2018. Multi-board devices are here to stay. But multi- board PCB design brings with it even more chal- lenges for the designer and design engineer. It's all about management. It reminds me of a juggler trying to keep half a dozen balls in the air. Every aspect of the design process is differ- ent, from schematic through data hand-off. Design teams, sometimes working in different time zones or countries, must become fluent in system-level management of a variety of inter- connects, and ECAD and MCAD collaboration is more critical than ever with multi-board designs. Designers are constantly making trade-off decisions throughout the multi-board design cycle, especially regarding reliability, thermal management, signal i n t e g r i t y a n d power integrity. The final prod- uct's form factor weighs heavily on the design process, The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Multi-board Design: Multiple Challenges?

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