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30 The PCB Design Magazine • February 2017 Productivity features not only save time- to-market, but they also curb frustration. One of the most common issues that managers and PCB designers face today is lack of time. Unlike money, time is a non-renewable resource. Once time has passed, it is gone forever. With that said, getting more work done, in the same pe- riod of time, by using the right tools results in higher profits. Add it all up and it equates to cost savings and improved productivity. Integrated software is the key to efficient PCB design. One of the main details lacking in today's PCB design software is the flow of impedance control from design capture through to board fabrication. If the impedance of all the required technologies, used in the design, is determined up-front at the time of capture, the engineer's intent should be preserved and flow through to downstream tools. However, that scenario rarely happens. Many PCB designers simply select the trace width and spacing, that they typically use assuming all FR-4 is the same, and start routing, thinking that the fab shop can fix it later. This is due to their inability to define the require- ments as they rely on their fab shop's feedback, on impedance control, after completion of the Gerbers. This is analogous to shutting the gate once the horse has bolted. by Barry Olney IN-CIRCUIT DESIGN PTY LTD / AUSTRALIA New Functionality Improves Designer's Productivity FEATURE COLUMN: BEYOND DESIGN Figure 1: iCD Design Integrity productivity features.

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