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44 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 multiple banks of DDR, but now we see more of these smaller boards that are also complex and tight. They are similar to a system on a chip, but still a PCB. They can be challeng- ing, with the HDI technology and high-compo- nent densities, and are similar technologies to what you find on a larger-scale board, but now you're confined to a much smaller footprint to work within. The cellphone is a perfect exam- ple of advancing technology that has driven so much capability into a handheld device. Matties: Have you seen a shift in the type of customers as well? Miller: With the IoT or wearables industry, there's a whole other realm of customers that you wouldn't have thought of as good candi- dates for PCB design and layout. But our core customers still come from the military/aero- space and telecom/datacom sectors. We see much more activity out of the automotive in- dustry, too, and there's a growing demand from the AI industry. Matties: So, your customer list must be grow- ing as well. Miller: It's a challenge, but it's a good challenge because you want to make sure that you're working with the right customers. As we are identified as a solution for customers, we try to work our way through to make sure they are a good fit for us, and we're a good fit for them, more importantly. Matties: What makes a customer a good fit? Miller: Typically, for us, they're a technology- driven customer looking for an expert solu- tion, not just to connect the dots design house. If it's a company that has a lower technology, then we're probably not the best fit for them. Our usual customers are looking for a value- adding supplier—someone who is going to provide feedback and make recommendations and suggestions, such as working through op- timized stackups or making placement rec- ommendations, and all of the things that can make the design more efficient and help to get it right the first time. Matties: You recently published The Printed Cir- cuit Designer's Guide to… Executing Complex PCBs. That book has been wildly successful with a lot of downloads and positive reviews. What feedback have you received, and how is that affecting you? Miller: It has been great by helping us get more exposure and opening the doors to new custom- ers. Some of the downloads are from customers that already know us, but it has helped to raise our credibility with them. The feedback has been that it was very well-written and hit on the hot points. Readers felt that they got something out of it, and the book provided something that wasn't in the marketplace before. That's the feedback I've received. It's not just in the de- sign itself, but it's how you communicate, share data, and do things efficiently and effectively. Matties: It wasn't a book about you, but about helping the industry because you are the ex- perts and have been doing this for many years. Miller: The origins of Freedom CAD go back to the earliest days of PCB design when laying out a PCB was done by putting tape on Mylar. So, we have been through all the evolution of PCB design. We wanted to share these years of experience in the book. Matties: With that topic of complex PCBs, a lot of companies are now moving into that realm With the IoT or wearables industry, there's a whole other realm of customers that you wouldn't have thought of as good candidates for PCB design and layout.

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