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26 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2014 "Simplify, simplify, simplify." —Henry David Thoreau Thoreau penned his simple lifestyle mantra more than 150 years ago and it still as valid to- day as it was when he first captured and record- ed his thoughts on paper. He was not the first to extoll the importance of simplicity, but he said it in a memorable way. Achieving simplicity has been deemed a worthy objective by many philosophers over centuries, and people often profess to seek sim- plicity in their lives. In the world of high tech, simplicity is arguably one of the foundational objectives of most of the technologies that sur- round us today. Certainly this is true in terms of how product designers are trying to create interfaces that allow even the most nontechni- cal users to get what they need from electronic products with a minimum of hassle. However, that interface simplicity is under- girded by a massively complex electromechani- cal substructure of circuits, sensors and compo- nents. Pop open any high-end electronic device and you will be met by an impressive mass of densely packed components and circuits. Pres- ently, those components are available in a wide array of formats, with a number of different lead shapes and forms along with the device's mechanical outline. Presently, there are J-leads, I-leads, gull-wing leads, posts, balls and no leads at all. Mechanical outlines are generally square and rectangular, but the bodies can have a wide range of dimensions in X, Y and Z. While area array technology has helped to make things smaller, it has also upped the complexity factor from a design perspective by mixing grids and land shapes and sizes. Component Selection for Easier Design and Manufacture of Electronics article by Joe Fjelstad verDaNT eleCTroNiCs

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