Design007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 127

54 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 ing seeing the fish. I did, however, hear their collective "gasp" when the fish tore loose, fol- lowed a moment later by what seemed like the loudest "kerplop" in recorded history as this Moby Dick-sized fish hit the water. is was a sad final salute from the biggest fish that I almost caught, but never saw. e locals were very sympathetic for my loss, describing in agonizing detail how that fish had been one of the largest they had ever seen, while ripping my friend a new one for grab- bing the line too aggressively. I have always felt bad for him because he really was trying to do his best to help—but that's not going to stop me from sending him a link to this story. Aer all, a little fresh salt in the wound is good for the soul—said no one ever—but that is what friends are for. Right? Anyway, there are two points to take away from this story, and the first one is to always bring a net with you when you go fishing. e second is more important—even though this particular fish got away, there's plenty more to be caught. Aer all, there is always a bigger fish. is theme of "there is always a bigger fish" is very common in our culture and literature, as both Jonah and Ahab can attest to. It also encompasses much more than just the realm of ichthyology, however, and can be applied to almost all areas of our lives. Take our industry of designing circuit boards, for example. No matter how much your latest design may have pushed the envelope of technology, there will always be another design that will present an even greater challenge waiting for you tomor- row. ere's always a bigger fish. I've been in the PCB layout business for a long time now. When I first started, we were laying out very simple boards with through- hole parts using 12-mil traces and spaces. I still remember vividly the first board that came through our department that required specific routing topologies and trace lengths. None of us really understood any of this at the time, and the designers assigned to the job instead cre- ated a beautiful layout with the best-looking bus routing you have ever seen; it was some- thing the rest of us marveled at. All this hard work, however, was promptly rejected by the customer because even though it looked great, it wasn't going to come close to working the way it was intended to. We all went back to the drawing board and learned about measured lines, the proper positioning of terminating resistors, and how these trace topologies were really supposed to be connected. We were pretty proud of ourselves—until we got our first taste of DDR memory routing. ere's always a bigger fish. Soon we became experts in what was required to successfully complete a design with DDR memory routing. We had to restructure our designs for the correct stripline layer con- figurations, as well as to allow enough room for all the escape routing. Component place- ment became more important than ever as we designed the entire signal path instead of just looking for the shortest connections between pins. We also learned very quickly how to work with different routing patterns such as T-topol- ogies and fly-by topologies, as well as how to best tune our traces to achieve the correct sig- nal timing. You would think by this point we would have deserved some well-earned pats on the back, but it was not to be. ere's always a bigger fish. Whether it's hybrid designs, flex circuits, or something else equally intriguing, there will always be newer and more challenging circuit board technologies that designers will have This theme of "there is always a bigger fish" is very common in our culture and literature, as both Jonah and Ahab can attest to.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Design007 Magazine - Design007-May2021