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168 I-CONNECT007 I REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2022 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE By Patrick Crawford IPC In late 2021, printed board design engineers from around the world were invited to com- pete in IPC's inaugural PCB Design Competi- tion. Intended to be accessible to anyone with a design tool and an internet connection, this new competition would challenge designers in two heats: an at-home, 30-day full board build, and an "in-person" four-hour routing chal- lenge at IPC APEX EXPO 2022. In the preliminary heat, 14 designers from all corners of the globe—from India to the Neth- erlands, Oregon to the United Kingdom— entered this new adventure last September. ey were provided with a schematic, a com- ponent BOM, and a scope-of-work document, and were asked to design a board that was com- pliant with IPC's various board design stan- dards (and general best practices). e given schematic was representative of a motor con- trol board and, while not electrically sound, included features intended to test the competi- tors' understanding of various design method- ologies. For the preliminary heat, competitors were allowed to use the design tool of their choice. A diverse array of tools was used—Altium Designer, Allegro, Eagle, Xpedition, and KiCAD were all represented. To be judged, the competitors were required to export their design in either Gerber, ODB++, or IPC-2581 formats. Returned designs were then judged based on sections of IPC standards that were deemed relevant by a panel of volunteers who are IPC Design Competition Celebrates the Art and Science of Printed Board Design

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