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56 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Q&A With the IPC Design Competition Winner What did you think of the design used in the competition? None of the competitors finished it, whereas last year's design was considered too easy by a few of those contestants. Yes, the design was quite complicated com- pared to last year's design. e design was a rigid-flex PCB with a shape that would fit inside a robotic arm. You can imagine the traces needs to be routed with odd angles for such board shapes, which generally takes more time compared to 45-degree angle traces. It's a real challenge to complete the routing within the allocated time. I feel it was one of the rea- sons why none of us were able to complete the design. I started working on items by priority and completed whatever I could following the guidelines. I believe this process helped me. Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Design engineer Sathishkumar Vijayaku- mar with Tessolve Semiconductor, India, took home top honors in this year's IPC Design Competition, besting the other four finalists in a rigid-flex design showdown during IPC APEX EXPO. Unlike last year, no one finished the design completely, so judges graded competitors on what they did finish, as well as criteria such as design decisions they made, and whether they followed electrical and DFM rules. e first heat of the contest began last fall with an original field of 49 competitors, so it's safe to say that these five finalists represent the cream of the crop. I asked Sathish to tell us a little about himself and the competition, and what winning this contest means to him as a PCB designer. Sathish, congratulations on winning the IPC Design Competition for 2023! Why don't you give us some background about yourself, and how you got into PCB design? anks for your wishes, Andy. I am working as a senior PCB design engineer at Tessolve Semiconductor, India. I completed my bach- elor's degree in Electronics and Communica- tion Engineering at Anna University, Chennai. I was happy to start a career in 2014 as a PCB design engineer as my background was in elec- tronics and more specifically, I consider PCB design as an art where I can show my unique skills. At Tessolve, we cater to some of the top semiconductor companies in the world, and I get to work on cutting-edge technologies up front, which makes me feel proud as a PCB designer. Sathish Vijayakumar 56 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023

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