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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2021 In mid-2019, IPC released IPC-2231 DFX Guidelines, a comprehensive guide for estab- lishing best practice methodology in develop- ing a formal DFX (design for excellence) pro- cess for laying out printed boards and assem- blies. is process can be established at a sys- temic level—integrated into the workflow of departments of companies—or adhered to as an individual designer. DFX is multifold, and as defined by the document, includes design for manufacturing, fabrication, assembly, testabil- ity, cost, reliability, environment, and reuse. e sections pertaining to these major theme areas discuss how they impact the overall per- formance and cost of the final board assembly. Of course, no document is perfect, and as is the case with nearly every industry standard, certain elements of the IPC-2231 were identified as needing to be changed shortly aer its pub- lication. Now, two years aer its initial release, IPC-2231 is close to receiving an upgrade with a new revision—IPC-2231A. e standard is cur- rently in Final Dra for Industry Review and the standard's subcommittee is in the process of forming a ballot group. (For those who are unfamiliar with IPC standardization processes: All IPC documents are subject to a final vote for publication via an open ballot.) While it can be dangerous to speak of the fea- tures of a document in the middle of its devel- opment cycle, it is safe to say that nearly every section of IPC-2231 has received some kind of upgrade or addition, and an entirely new sec- tion regarding the impact of design choices on fabrication processes has been included. Speaking personally (not as a member of IPC staff ), the new revision is a substantial upgrade; it's more focused and yet more rich in content, more easily digestible, and more valuable as a resource. But enough of what I have to say about the document. Aer all, other than a few minor IPC-2231A—Insights from the IPC 1-14 DFX Subcommittee Design Circuit by Patrick Crawford, IPC

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