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AUGUST 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 25 early '90s, there were a variety of compelling programmable logic device (PLD) suppliers. All of them offered free tools that targeted only their specific devices. A start-up in Col- orado Springs called Minc offered a product whereby the digital logic design could be de- scribed in either Verilog or VHDL—still the two most popular HDLs. e soware had a comprehensive, vendor independent library of most of the programmable logic devices, detailing their capabilities and cost. e user could choose to optimize the implementation across a variety of tradeoffs such as speed, de- vice count, vendors, and cost. With a mouse click, the design would be compiled and the soware would find the best fit into the appro- priate device(s). Many solutions used devic- es from multiple vendors. e designer then chose the best solution and moved forward in their process. Again, it was define–validate– implement, but the implementation was in a programmable device. Conclusion First pass, high yield, cost optimized, and reliable PCB fabrication and assembly are the goals; rapidly identifying and correcting DFM issues where they are created, in the design context, is key to avoiding the pains of releas- ing a design that cannot be manufactured. Aug- menting conventional DFM checks with re- al-time component intelligence will help to eliminate surprise component shortages that are currently idling many assembly lines. is full spectrum DFM- aware PCB design sets the foun- dation for building a design pro- cess that is not only tuned for the challenges of design, but bi- ased for the avoidance of down- stream manufacturing problems that can impact profits, product development timelines, and in- dustry reputation. As complexity continues to increase, full spec- trum DFM-aware design will remain a high val- ue, strategic capability that fosters an increased amount of certainty to the electronic product realization process. An indication of where PCB design, fabrica- tion, and assembly are moving can be gleaned from where IC design has already been. While the two domains differ in their target imple- mentation, their respective design processes share many common elements. Moving for- ward, the opportunity exists to provide elec- tronics OEMs with the ability to "connect" with a global, data-enabled ecosystem of fab- rication and assembly service providers for immediate capabilities-awareness and rules- driven design guidance and validation. is paradigm also supports optimization across OEM-defined parameters for such factors as turnaround time, cost, and availability, which will enable OEMs to "shop" their project out across the ECM ecosystem with a click of the mouse for thoroughly informed, warp-speed decision-making fitted to the capabilities of ECMs. PCB007 Vince Mazur is product and persona marketing engineer at Altium.

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