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48 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 Optimum designers are keenly adept at switching modes between reliability and cost objectives. our high degree of competence with today's SI and manufacturing technologies. Matties: When you're putting a project togeth- er, there's no budget. How do you manage the filler materials and the supply chain? Barbin: Generally, when a customer comes to us with a layout project, they are providing the schematic, BOM, and mechanical speci- fication, so we don't generally provide much into the input package We do, however, col- laborate and make suggestions where we have experience with a specific component or technology. Dan Feinberg: One of the discussions that we've had lately, particularly at IPC APEX EXPO this year and last year, was about reliability. Have you seen any changes in the last few years re- garding specifications and the need for higher reliability with the finished device? Barbin: Reliability is always a major concern for our milaero and automotive customers. In addition to understanding and implementing Class 3 and our specific customer workman- ship standards into a design, our designers will collaborate closely with the engineering and manufacturing team to help ensure we don't miss anything. It really takes a team effort. Conversely, for the customers where cost is a big issue, being a manufacturer, our designers have a strong awareness of manufacturing cost drivers built into our DNA. Optimum designers are keenly adept at switching modes between reliability and cost objectives. We also incorporate Valor DFM analysis for all design projects at the various major mile- stones. The DFM is run by one of our DFM specialists who puts together a report for the designer of any and all issues. Between our strong understanding of the fabrication and assembly processes and the nuances between Class 2 and Class 3, our designers are able to put together a design package that can flow seamlessly through the manufacturing chain. Shaughnessy: Do many designs arrive over- constrained, maybe using expensive technol- ogy when they don't have to? Barbin: To ensure proper SI, PI, and complex en- closures, very little comes in over-constrained today. In some cases, we may have seen a spe- cific technology or topology that we have in- corporated on a design that has worked great on another design; we are then able to share that when a different constraint might not be achievable. To ensure the various circuits func- tion correctly, it's very important to have all aspects of the design constrained within the tool to ensure all requirements have been met. Shaughnessy: Do you ever tell a customer that you have found a way that they can save some money on their design? Is that a fairly com- mon thing? Barbin: Sure, that is very common. This is espe- cially important when it comes to the raw PCB, as it is normally one of the highest cost items on a BOM. Our designers work very closely with our customers and the manufacturing en- gineers of the various fabrication shops to con- struct a stackup that will meet their electrical and cost requirements; this is paramount to making a successful design. Choosing the right material has a big impact on cost. Although our designers don't specify the material, they regularly collaborate with the engineer and may occasionally suggest a material that might be less expensive than what the engineer origi- nally specified. I believe Optimum's experience with incorpo- rating HDI technology into a design is a major

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