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28 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 Feature Article by Dana Korf Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Well, what is a perfect "beautiful" PCB design? Is it defined as the data that is released per the aggressive schedule? Is it defined as data received by the fabricator as one that does not require any engineering questions or manufac- turability and design edits? I do not believe that myself or my teams have ever received a design to fabricate that was intentionally designed to fail, except for test-to-fail capability test vehicles. But when reviewing incoming data packages, we have oen wondered, "What was that person think- ing?" When the data is initially reviewed, the guessing game begins. As Lt. Columbo, in his TV detective series of the same name, famously said, "Oh, there's just one more thing…" A few thoughts to consider: • How many suggestions does the designer want to hear? Some don't want any corrections to the data. Others want all the feedback possible to improve the data. • Asian cultures tend to treat their custom- ers with high regard and tend to not provide much negative feedback. ey will just edit the data to make it manufac- turable or to meet the lead time. • e amount and type of data issues can oen indicate how much experience the design team has. A less experienced designer may not know a solution to the DFM feedback issue that has been posed. ey may give an answer that inadver- tently and negatively affects the design performance. Part of a fabricator's job involves playing detective to assess each designer's skill. So, let's put on our Columbo trench coats and review a few ways that a design team's experience level can be gauged. Violating the Laws of Physics is is a common issue with initial stack- ups with impedance constraints. e fabrica- tor will model the incoming impedance value and tolerance and discover that the answer Detecting PCB Design Teams' Experience Level

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