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32 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Chris Banton is the director of marketing for EMA Design Automation. We discussed the need to train the next generation of designers, advent technologies like AI and machine learn- ing, and why companies like EMA are using these advancements to help designers with to- day's complex PCBs. Andy Shaughnessy: Chris, it's good to see you again. Chris Banton: Thanks for having me, Andy. I appreciate it. Shaughnessy: What's your view of the industry from your perspective as a design tools guy? Banton: It feels like we're in a state of transition with regards to the industry, a lot of which has to do with the industry's demographics; there seem to be many new people and perspectives entering the industry. There's a high demand for electronics in all types of products. Com- panies we talk to can't find experienced engi- neers fast enough for the work they have. It's an exciting time. I believe the real question is, "How do we make sure we're getting enough engineers interested in PCB design and hard- ware design who want to fuel this innovation?" One way is to leverage new technologies in the design space. A lot of what we do in hard- ware design/EDA is a key driving factor in the computing infrastructure and cloud infrastruc- ture needed for AI, machine learning, cloud computing, etc. However, as a design com- munity, we're just starting to think about how we use these new technologies to improve the hardware development process. It's weirdly circular. How do we benefit from what we en- abled? How do bringing on these new technol- ogies make hardware engineering more attrac- tive to a larger group of engineers? Shaughnessy: You mentioned AI, which kind of goes back and forth. You have a lot of design- ers saying, "We're the AI." They don't want to see more AI in the tools. What do you think? Banton: It all depends on how you use it. It's like autorouters: one designer might say, "This is great. I can put my brain into the tool. It will Chris Banton Is Bullish on New Tech

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