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42 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team The I-Connect007 editorial team sat down with Freedom CAD's Scott Miller to talk about the industry's demand for more increasingly complex PCBs, and the challenges this pres- ents. They also discuss Freedom CAD's in- house training programs, the company's recent book authored by Scott, and why communica- tion is such an important tool in a PCB design- er's toolbox. Barry Matties: First, tell us a little bit about Freedom CAD and what you do. Scott Miller: Freedom CAD was founded in 2003 by a husband and wife, Lou and Lau- ren Primmer. In May of 2003, they acquired Plexus' Nashua, New Hampshire, design cen- ter, and started Freedom CAD Services with 12 employees. They were fortunate to be able to bring some of the best designers from Plexus with them to start the business. Since then, we have fluctuated between 40 and 60 employ- ees, depending on how the demand for our services has swung. Our focus is on PCB de- sign, servicing all of the aspects of PCB design, electrical engineering, mechanical engineer- ing, and signal, power, and thermal analysis. However, we're best known in the market as a PCB layout specialist for complex, rule-driven designs. We also provide turnkey manufac- turing solutions through strategic partners to provide customers with the ability to get from what I call the "CAD to the lab" with one-stop shopping. Matties: In the years that you've been doing this, you've seen the complexity of the boards increase. Miller: Dramatically. And the funny thing is that everybody's perspective of complexity is big. Big boards can be very complex. How- ever, the irony is that small boards can also drive a lot of the complexity because you have less space to work with. Everybody's trying to make things smaller and more power-effi- cient. We're used to being challenged by large, complex boards. We still do those types of de- signs with multiple high pin count FPGAs and What You Need to Know: Designing Complex PCBs Scott Miller

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