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34 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2016 by Andy Shaughnessy Stephen V. Chavez, CID+, has been a senior- level PCB designer for almost 20 years. He is cur- rently the lead PCB designer for the Electronic Systems Center division of UTC Aerospace Sys- tems (UTAS). Stephen stays pretty busy. He's the vice pres- ident of his local IPC Designers Council chapter in Phoenix, and a Designers Council Executive Board member at large, and he is recognized as a Subject Matter Expert by IPC. He often speaks at the Design Forum at IPC APEX EXPO. At this year's Design Forum, "Steph" spoke about the importance of taking charge of your PCB design education and networking. I caught up with Stephen and asked for his thoughts on the EDA tools of today, and wheth- er he'd prefer to have more control vs. more au- tomation. Andy Shaughnessy: You've been a designer for a few years. In general, what do you think of today's design automation tools? Stephen Chavez: It's true that I've been designer for many years now and have used a variety of tool sets. In my experience, I find today's au- tomation tools extremely useful and when the opportunity presents itself to use these type tools, they can assist greatly in the overall suc- cess of a project. Today's tools have gotten very powerful. They range from very simple to use, to very complex in nature. In my opinion as a designer, I strongly feel that when a designer progresses in his/her career and perfects his/her craft, if and when the opportunity exist, they should take advantage of these new automated tools to design a more quality product, shorten the overall design cycle, and positively affect the overall project budget. With today's designs getting more and more complex, there are in- stances where the only way to complete a task is to take advantages of these automation tools. Taking advantages of the horse power within these automation tools in today's design world is key and I feel these tools should be evaluated to see how they can benefit you and your em- ployer by positively impact your effectiveness EDA TOOLS: Automation vs. Control FEATURE INTERVIEW

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