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12 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2022 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team For decades, fabricators and PCB design instructors have preached a steady gospel: "Communicate with your manufacturer early and oen." But many designers find themselves working with no idea who will be fabricating or assembling the board, not to mention deal- ing with the usual missing data, such as imped- ance requirements. We asked Monsoon Solutions VP of Engi- neering Jen Kolar if she had any thoughts on "designing in a vacuum," and her response was, "Absolutely!" In this wide-ranging discussion, Jen and Senior PCB Engineer and Director of Designer Development Cory Grunwald share some tips and techniques for designing PCBs in a vacuum, and a few methods for getting out of the Hoover's dust bag. Tips for Designing in— and Escaping From—the Vacuum As Cory points out, "In the end, the commu- nication is going to happen anyway. It's just a matter of whether it happens at the end or in the beginning." Barry Matties: For years, we've heard fabrica- tors and design instructors recommend that designers communicate with their manufac- turers, and as early in the design process as pos- sible. However, we are oen told that the PCB designer does not know who the fabricator is going to be when they embark on the design. As a design service, how do you approach that? Jen Kolar: at can be one of the big tricks when we're working with a lot of different cus- tomers. If we're managing the fabrication, then

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