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feature new year's resolution: validate your model data continues based on conversations with customers, it's not terribly popular either. So why do I keep going on about it? Because it's important, and because I've been burned too many times. In my former job, the scenario would repeat itself: We'd put together a project schedule that was too aggressive to begin with, and then the models would show up late. Instead of running the tests we planned, we'd run quick tests to make up time, and the models would look good (they always looked good at first). Then we'd use them for a week or two before we noticed some discrepancy in simulation results, trace it back and realize the model had been bad all along. The scenario repeated itself so many times that we finally compiled a list of all the ways we had been burned, defined an incoming model inspection process and stuck to it. It didn't solve all our problems, but things did get better. If this were a sales pitch, I would pull out the magic answer to the problems I've posed. "Do you have problem SI models that are dif- ficult to test? No problem! Try new SI TestAll with Borax! Your simulation models have never been so fast and so clean!" Of course, that's the exact opposite of what I'm trying to say. I'm saying that we, as designers, need to do the hard work of understanding whether we can trust our models before we start using them to make design decisions. That message isn't glitzy and it isn't exciting, but it is critically important if we want to use SI simulations to create high quality products. Welcome to 2014, and stay off my lawn! PCBDESIGN Todd Westerhoff is vice president of semiconductor relations for SiSoft, has over 34 years of experience in the modeling and analysis of electronic systems, including 17 years of signal integrity experience. He can be reached by clicking here. Video Interview Dragon Circuits: Old Company, New Name and Ideas by Real Time with... SMTAI Raj and Gunny Barbaria acquired North Texas Circuit Boards and began rebuilding the failing company. After shedding some longtime employees and investing in new equipment, the two say they are ready to make Dragon Circuits into a 21st century technology company. They also discuss their drive to make PCBs attractive to the next generation. 14 The PCB Design Magazine • January 2014 Click To View

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