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March 2015 • The PCB Design Magazine 23 DFM checking in place and rely solely on their manufacturer. Other companies use only a vi- sual check of their designs while others employ a very sophisticated automated checking pro- cess. Traditionally, automated DFM checking has been left to the manufacturing vendors to handle, and then those results are reported back to the designers. Any problems that are found would require design changes, and sometimes board spins are used to get the manufactur- ing bugs worked out. Since these same types of DFM checking tools used by manufacturers are available to us on the design side, we should use them. There are a lot of applications out there that will assist you in DFM checking. Some PCB de- sign systems have DFM checking functionality built right into them. Recently I was able to help one of our customers use our built-in man- ufacturing rules checking in order to expose a problem that would have resulted in his design being rejected by the manufacturer. There are also a lot of third-party tools out there that will perform these checks as well. The point is that you can perform the same level of checking that your manufacturing vendor does before the de- sign ever leaves your department. This will save you the time and expense of waiting for some- one else's checking results to be reported back to you. Trust me; after years of working with design- ers from a support perspective, I am a big be- liever in automated checking. It can save your company time and money, it can save your de- sign from being a mess, it can help prevent bad boards from being built, and it may even help you look like a hero when you save the day. We have a big job ahead of us trying to satisfy the requirements of both design and manufacturing. But fortunately there's a lot of help out there for us to successfully negotiate a win for both sides of this epic conflict. Now, hold your head up high; your contribution as a board designer goes much further than simply pounding traces in. You have the higher calling of ushering in a new era of peace and increased productivity to this age-old struggle. PCBDESIGn Tim Haag is customer support and training manager for intercept Technology. feature DFM: ThE PCB DESIGnER AS ARBITRATOR continues Magnetic vortex structures, so-called sky- rmions, in the future could store and process in- formation very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. More than six years ago, physicists at the Technische universität München discovered ex- tremely stable magnetic vortex structures in a metallic alloy of manganese and silicon. since then, they have driven this technol- ogy further together with theoreti- cal physicists from the university of Cologne. The production of computer chips requires insulating, semicon- ducting and conducting materials. Today, magnetic vortex structures are available for all three classes of materials. now a team of physicists at the Tu München, the university of Cologne and the École Poly- technique Fédérale de lausanne (switzerland) has examined the dynamic behavior of the three materials. with the results of their measurements, the team developed a theoretical description of be- havior valid for all three material classes. The typ- ical resonance frequencies of the skyrmions are in the microwave range – the frequency range of mobile phones, wi-Fi and many types of microelectronic remote controls. Thanks to the robustness of the magnetic vortices and their ease of excitability, skyrmion mate- rials could be the basis for highly efficient microwave transmitters and receivers. The Taming of Magnetic Vortices

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