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48 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 creation. Many manufacturers provide easily acquired symbols and footprints which are a few clicks away from landing in the sche- matic. When manufacturers provide prebuilt symbols and footprints, I am more inclined to use their parts and it really speeds the design process. Packages and Manufacturing Sharing data packages directly with your manufacturer allows high confidence that the right version of the package is the one getting built, traceable by its unique release identi- fier and not "the files we sent Tuesday aer- noon." Designers can make minor changes in response to CM questions or concerns and that keeps the documentation completely in sync. Keeping the schematic and BOM matched is good practice. With high-quality, consistent board packages, manufacturers can trust that the product they build is what is intended. As electronics designers we oen know the right thing to do. Having tools that make it easy for designers to do the right thing—such as collaboration, parts screening, and creating consistent, validated build packages—enables designers to quickly create successful, cost- aware designs. DESIGN007 Rich Tighe is an electrical engineering manager for Noah Medical. by Cherie Litson, CID+ LITSON1 CONSULTING I love getting to know new tools in the industry, especially when they address issues that haven't been included into the layout software yet. This Siemens webinar on stackup design, presented by Z-zero founder and HyperLynx alum Bill Hargin, offers a variety of tips for designers and design engineers. Bill walks you through the Z-Planner Enterprise tool and shows some cool features that can help anyone with plan- ning their layer stack-ups. While some of what he's included can be found in other tools, there are a cou- ple of things I found that were unique. First, I have to say that I totally agree with Bill's statement "The PCB stackup is the central nervous system of the design." Also, I have experienced the issue of ordering boards from different fabricators and had different results in noise, costs, and other electrical performance. His argument on manually adding stackup infor- mation is dependent upon which tool(s) you're cur- rently using, but Z-Planner also interfaces with other PCB design software and signal integrity software. The work that has gone into developing this tool is evident and much appreciated. The tool has 150 dif- ferent materials based on Dk and Df. This is to sup- port selection of the material so that you don't over or under design it and possibly help to cut costs. The "Library" contains the list of materials. This is editable and configurable depending on your needs. Then the "Material Mapper" allows you to select the acceptable loss factor and gives you a material selection. Some will be expensive, and some won't. The user still needs to communicate with the fabri- cator via a spreadsheet and email. I didn't see a way to add relative costs to the materials list. The tool supports all the process stakeholders— from the OEM team to different fabricators. Using customer specs and running SI/PI analysis, compari- sons can be made from the fabricators stackups. Communication with the fabricator via a spread- sheet and email is still necessary to make this work but does give us a tool that has more options to be able to come closer to consistency. This webinar isn't for beginners. The viewer should already know how to set up a layer stackup for their design; this webinar doesn't guide you in this way. You have to learn that bit of information on your own from other sources. To watch this webinar, click here. To read this entire review, click here. Cherie Litson, CID+, MIT, is the owner of Litson1 Consulting and an instructor at EPTAC and Everett Community College. Review: Siemens PCB Stackup Planning Webinar

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