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JANUARY 2022 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 81 boards that are using this process because we have 25 mm trace/space with no other options available. And again, we have been communi- cating with the fabrication vendor throughout the design process. Our process is that when- ever a change is made on the PCB, we resubmit for fabrication approval prior to finalizing for a design review. While it's a very iterative and time-consuming process, we know there will not be any surprises in the end because the fab- rication vendor knows exactly what to expect, as they've been involved throughout the entire process. Is this approach over-cautious? Maybe, but the proof will be on-time delivery within budget. Dunn: You have a strong commitment to con- tinuous improvement, growth, and customer service. What is your vision for the future? Chase: Part of the mission statement in my departments and businesses has always been "2% better" and "customer first." ose two statements encapsulate how and why we have been successful. Because if you are not improv- ing, you are falling behind, and without cus- tomers, you don't have a business. My vision for the future of PCB design and fabrication? at brings me back to the auto- router days—just hit the "easy" button and the board is finished. No, there is still no "easy" button with PCB design or fabrication. PCB designers are becoming much more engneering- savvy and need to be respected much more in the industry; we are driving new technology. Dunn: anks for sharing your perspective. DESIGN007 Tara Dunn is the vice president of marketing and business development for Averatek. To read past columns or contact Dunn, click here. What constraints do they mention, and what benefits intrigue them the most? Chase: I find that most of my colleagues are very receptive to a semi-additive process, but it's going to take time to gain traction. Fiy years of "this is the way we've always done it" is hard to change overnight. In my humble opinion, this technology could revolutionize the PCB fabrication industry. In chatting with some of the larger fabricators, they are seriously looking at the minimal investment to break the 25-mm trace/space barrier. Dunn: Collaboration between fabricator and designer is especially critical with semi-additive processes. How do you facilitate communica- tion, and what is your advice for maximizing the advantages of these new capabilities? Chase: e approach that we have used is cau- tious for sure; we didn't announce to every design engineering group that "we've got it covered." We targeted one group, did an evalu- ation skunk works layout, submitted it to the fabricator, and received feedback. Realistically, not all design parameters have been defined by the fabricator as they are learning just as we are, so collaboration is the key. Initially it will be a somewhat iterative process, and you absolutely must have a relationship with your vendor that includes great communication. Don't expect to design something and just hand it off. We're in the middle of a design right now that has had a great deal of communication with our fabricator, and we negotiated some of the critical param- eters to make the circuit work. e good aspect of A-SAP is that the material is not an issue. We are using some higher end, RF-specific materi- als with great success. Dunn: Can you tell us a little about high-level projects you are working on now? Chase: Sorry, not specifically; but I can say that we have a current project consisting of 12

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