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22 The PCB Design Magazine • March 2016 Years of experience with one EDA tool obvi- ously develops efficiency, whether the tool be high-end feature-packed or basic entry-level. And one becomes accustomed to the intricacies of all the good and bad features of their PCB design tool. However, there comes a time, with the fast development pace of technology, that one should really consider a change for the better to incorporate the latest methodologies. This month, I will look at productivity issues that impede the PCB design process. The choice of PCB design tools, until now, has been limited to either high-end, enterprise- level solutions that are expensive and have the added cost of an extended learning curve and setup time, or entry-level desktop solutions that are fast to pick up but limited in capability and error-prone. Mentor Graphics' new PADS Pro- fessional has addressed this by providing the best of both solutions. Based on proven Xpedi- tion technology, PADS Professional focuses on ease of adoption, ease of use and affordability but is still packed with all the features today's designers need for the most complex designs. Typically, a high-speed computer-based de- sign takes two or three iterations to develop a working product. However, these days the prod- uct life cycle is very short and therefore time- to-market is of the essence. One board iteration can be expensive, depending on your overheads. by Barry Olney in-circuit design pty ltd australia The Need for Speed: Strategies for Design Efficiency Beyond design Figure 1: 3D interference validation.

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