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30 The PCB Design Magazine • August 2015 feature by Barry Matties i-ConneCT007 I recently attended IMS 2015, a show that focuses primarily on RF and microwave technol- ogy. During the show, I met with Per Viklund, the director of IC packaging and RF product lines at Mentor Graphics, and Alex Caravajal, business development manager with Mentor Graphics. We talked about the challenges facing PCB designers working with RF and microwave technology, and Mentor's efforts to help reduce the RF design cycle time. Barry Matties: Per, please begin by giving a quick overview of what mentor graphics is featuring here at ims. Per Viklund: Specifically for this show, we're fo- cusing on the RF. Our customers have told us for a long time that it takes too long to devel- Mentor Graphics Helps Bridge Gap Between PCB and RF op RF circuits, especially when RF is going to be a piece of a bigger system. It's not so often that RF engineers have told us that. It's the PC board integrators who receive the RF circuit for integration and the management who sees long engineering times, lots of re-spins, that clearly says it can't be real to have these long cycles, or it can't be correct to have to do five or six iterations. There's got to be a different way. Not often will the entire engineering organization admit that there is a better way. Matties: When we talk about cycles, what sort of cycle times are we talking about? Viklund: It could be different depending on if you're doing a simple project or a larger one. But we have some cycle times that can be over two months long, say, if you are doing a board for a satellite communication link or something like that. They could have very long cycles.

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