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66 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2017 extension, the tool from EasyLogix are capable of incorporating multilayer boards, SMD heat sources, embedded components, pins, inlays, power rails, vias, blind vias and buried vias. Embedded in the CAD/CAM software, ther- mal simulation can be undertaken by the devel- oper at the push of a button without the need to involve an expert. This reduces the number of necessary prototypes and measurements. It also enables developers to avoid hotspots and the opposite problem, oversizing, thereby re- ducing development times and costs. Conclusion Visualization and analysis of every aspect of a PCB interdepartmentally at the push of a button makes error-recognition and avoidance possible, improves product quality and acceler- ates time-to-market. Product development and purchasing, production and quality assurance, EMV lab, prototype building, sales—the higher the product complexity, the more isolated is the work in these departments. It is high time that everyone started working with the same infor- mation. PCBDESIGN Günther Schindler is CEO of Schindler & Schill GmbH. For more information, visit Researchers at Caltech have developed a new type of optical brain probe based on nanotechnol- ogy and the same optical communication technol- ogy used to carry internet data around the globe. The new ultrathin silicon-based probes are able to send light deep into the brains of animals to pre- cisely target circuits of neurons that control cogni- tion, behavior, and body functions. "Tools for delivering light deep into animal brains are still rather primordial," says Michael Roukes, the Robert M. Abbey Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering at Caltech and principal investigator behind the research. "So, we decided to develop the next generation of brain probes." The probes were described in a pa- per that appeared in the journal Neurophotonics. "These new silicon probes are much smaller than currently used optical fibers and are much gentler on the brain," says the paper's lead author, Eran Segev, a senior postdoctoral fellow in applied physics and materials science at Caltech. With optogenetic techniques, researchers can use light to specifically activate or silence neurons within the brain and assess their roles. Optogenetic methods genetically engineer neurons to respond to light. For example, blue light is used to activate neurons that have been modified to produce a protein called channelrhodopsin. Conversely, yel- low light is used to inhibit activity in neurons engi- neered to express a protein called halorhodopsin. As described in the paper, the new probes can target individual neurons while simultaneously minimizing displacement of brain tissue and pro- viding access to areas deeper in the brain than previously possible. Segev says that a subsequent generation of probes, currently in development, will also be able to create patterns of blue, yellow, and other wavelengths of light. Andrei Faraon (BS ‹04), assistant professor of applied physics and materials science and a co- author on the study, provided early assistance with the probe designs and laboratory characterization. Shining Light Deep into the Brain SHORTENING TIME-TO-MARKET WITH A SOFTWARE-SUPPORTED REVIEW PROCESS

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