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22 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2015 feature The Results Overall, the transition process evolved at the forecast pace. As expected, there were some in- herent glitches, but the team pulled together to overcome them. With the benefit of the hind- sight, it appears that the company has made the right choice to adopt an incremental transi- tion from the legacy to the system design ap- proach. The testing of the new tools during the pilot phase reveals that this transition process can be kept under control. The current focus in this ongoing process is on adding functionality and on making the process more user-friendly, which should bring about improved design ef- ficiency. Introducing a new suite of tools is a long and winding road and you need all the help you can get from the supplier of the tools suite. Software in general and design tools in particular are per definition works in progress, which makes the cooperation between cus- tomer and supplier a bare necessity. Changes are required not only for ameliorating charac- teristics and performance, but also for keep- ing pace with the steadily changing market requirements. Although suppliers constantly improve their products, customers always require faster and increasingly more reliable tools that can lower the design costs and shorter time to ev- erything: time to test, time to pilot, time to prototype, time to production, and time to market. As they say, no matter how much you give to a customer, he wants more, and suppli- ers have to accommodate those concerns on an ongoing basis. So far, the transition to the new tool suite has demonstrated that the efforts are worth- while, and because the new tools can be made more user-friendly, they are more flexible, they have new and enhanced functionality, and da- tabase integrity is better protected. Not least for these reasons, the benefits of the new system design approach clearly outweigh both chal- lenges and drawbacks. PCBDESIGN Monica Andrei is CAD support engineer with Continental Automotive, a global automotive electronics company. A new grant seeking to develop new tech- niques for creating high-temperature materials is taking advantage of Duke university's exper- tise in computational materials genomics—the computer modeling of novel materials to iden- tify which might have desirable properties. Led by nC State university's Ste- fano Curatolo (pictured), the new initiative addresses fundamental sci- entific questions that could lead to so-called "entropy-stabilized alloys." The initiative also includes the univer- sity of virginia and the university of California, San Diego, and is funded by a five-year, $8.4 million grant from the Office of naval Research (OnR). "The Defense Department has a need for materials that are mechanically and chemical- ly stable at temperatures of 2000°C or more," says Don Brenner, Kobe Steel Distinguished Pro- fessor of Materials Science and engineering at nC State and principal investigator under the OnR grant. "These materials can have signifi- cant aerospace applications, but the number of usable materials is currently small, and those materials rely on strong chemical bonding to remain stable. At high temperatures, most materials are simply no longer stable." These alloys are of interest for use in ultra-high temperature applica- tions because of their unique ability to "absorb" disorder in a material's crystalline structure that otherwise would lead to the breakdown of a material. Researchers Develop New Techniques for Creating High-Temp Alloys Don Brenner AuToMoTIvE SySTEMS DESIGN: A SuPPoRT ENGINEER'S PERSPECTIvE

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