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30 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2016 feature intervieW by Andy Shaughnessy Randy Faucette is founder, president and director of engineering at Better Boards Inc. in Cary, North Carolina. Founded in 2003, Better Boards provides electrical engineering, PCB de- sign, signal and power integrity analysis, and a variety of other services. I asked Randy to talk about some of the occasional tension between PCB designers and design engineers, and what he thinks can be done to help open the lines of communication. Andy Shaughnessy: Randy, tell us a little bit about your company and how you operate. Randy Faucette: Better Boards is a PCB design and engineering services company. We special- ize in all aspects of PCB design, but also pro- vide electrical and mechanical engineering, software/firmware development, prototype and small-volume production manufacturing, and many types of analysis including failure mode, root cause, thermal, crosstalk and power integ- rity. We use a breadth of design tools includ- ing Cadence Allegro, Altium, Mentor Expedi- tion and PADS. Our customers range from large companies like Lenovo and Cree to small en- trepreneurs. We perform finite services our cus- tomers define to full development of products from concept to production. We cover many industries, such as medical, commercial, con- sumer, telco, and space/military. Shaughnessy: A recent survey of our PCB designer readers found that there's often friction between PCB designers and engineers. Some designers say, only half-jokingly, that their EEs are their biggest challenge. Why do you think there's such discon- nect at some companies? Faucette: We have not found that to be true here at Better Boards. We approach PCB design from an engineering standpoint. The PCB designer should not just be a tools jockey hoping that engineering will tell them where to put parts and how to hook them up. The PCB designer should understand how the circuits flow, under- stand the different types of interfaces and how those need to be treated on the board, and un- The Partnership: Design Engineers and PCB Designers

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