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70 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2022 Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 During PCB West, I caught up with Down- Stream Technologies co-founder Joe Clark and Senior Product Marketing Manager Mark Gallant. We discussed some of their latest tool updates, including a greater focus on bringing post-processing functionality, such as inter- layer analysis capability, to rigid-flex circuits. Joe also offered a look at global design trends going into 2023, as more engineers take on PCB designer roles while senior designers are retiring. Andy Shaughnessy: Joe, give us an update on what's been going on with DownStream for the last year. Joe Clark: Last year was a record year for us, where we experienced over 10% growth even in the middle of COVID. We're on track to repeat that again in 2022. Much of that is driven by our major customers adopting design-for- manufacturing and intelligent design formats. A lot of the analysis that used to be done at the end of the design process has been mov- ing "upstream," and that has implications on the tool capabilities, i.e., it's got to be easy to use and have low cost of ownership. It's hard to believe that we've been doing this for 20 years. Shaughnessy: Who knew 2002 was a great time to start a company? Clark: It was actually the worst time to start a company. But our vision was that design-for- manufacturing analysis would become a main- stream mission-critical requirement, and that the analysis would naturally move upstream. If you remember back when we were PADS, DownStream Flexes in Rigid-Flex

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