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20 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2023 the IC geometry and the EMC certification level required by the application. Another important consideration is that the package geometries are changing as well. Smaller pin pitch and higher pin counts increase the difficulty and costs. It costs more to use smaller parts, both in PCB and assem- bly costs. One related factor that is not always considered is the cost of development tools for the newer, cheaper MCUs. Now you can get a 32-bit processor with lots of memory and I/ Os for a fraction of the cost of the older 8-bit parts. However, the cost of debug tools and compilers is orders of magnitude more expen- sive. Add the issue of using a larger memory space, which may require an operating system (and a soware team that can handle it), wow, so much for a "cheaper" part. e industry is finding out the hard way that, "System cost is not reduced by reducing IC geometries." Shaughnessy: Is there anything else you would like to add? Beeker: Electromagnetic fields travel in the space between the conductors, not in the con- ductors. e switching speed of the transistors determines the frequency of operation, not the clock rate. Signal and power connections must be one dielectric from ground for their entire length, including layer transitions. ere is no such thing as a noisy ground— just poor transmission line design.To quote Dr. Todd Hubing, "ou shalt not split ground." Remember the Rules of Triplets: "You only need three components to contain EM energy: conductor, space (dielectric), and conductor. You only need three components to build elec- tronic systems: conductors, spaces (dielectric), and switches. You can only do three things with electromagnetic field energy: store it, move it, or convert it to kinetic energy." Any compromises to these rules will increase system noise and so must be done as carefully considered engineering decisions. As Ralph Morrison always said, "Buildings have walls and halls. People travel in the halls, not the walls. Circuits have traces and spaces. Energy and signals travel in the spaces, not the traces." Shaughnessy: anks for your time, Dan. Beeker: ank you, Andy. And remember: It's all about that space! DESIGN007 by Andy Shaughnessy This year, the event was held Jan. 31–Feb. 2. The welcome reception Tuesday night was liter- ally packed inside the Santa Clara Grand Ballroom. There must have been 150 people eating tacos and drinking IPAs and wine. It was so loud that you couldn't hear the person next to you. Good problem to have, though! When the show opened Wed- nesday morning, it really felt like old times again. The aisles of the Santa Clara Convention Center were busy, and the classrooms for the technical conference were nearly full. AI was in the spotlight at DesignCon 2023. The Chiphead Theater hosted a panel on AI in EDA tools. One of the main chal- lenges seems to be getting AI from proof of con- cept into production. Everyone agrees that AI has a role in EDA—how to get there is up for discussion. But EDA companies were demonstrating their tools' AI functionality during this show, particularly in sim- ulation and analysis software. This feels like a good omen for the rest of 2023. People are ready to get back to in-person trade shows and conferences. To use an overused turn of phrase, it seems like old times, but with the latest technology. See my photos from the show. DesignCon 2023 Opens With Strong Attendance

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