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64 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2018 Faster Board Speeds Demand Constraint-Driven Design by Ralf Bruening ZUKEN Do you still use Post-it Notes? Invented in 1979, this simple, yet incredibly powerful communication mechanism is still commonly found in engineering and design departments. Despite modern elec - tronic communica- tion, many companies still struggle to provide a replacement for their ease-of-use and versatility. But, by changing the way an engineer designs electronics, by giving up the Post-it for passing requirements, change requests and constraints between engi- neers, design times can be shortened and product quality improved. Modern PCB design tools permit the definition of design constraints, including constraints relating to high-speed design and EMC, such as the topology of connections (routing pin sequence) or overshoot and timing budgets, for example. These constraints become increas- ingly important as components and boards become faster and more com- plex. But it is hard to capture and use/obey these constraints consis- tently throughout the complete design process, bearing in mind that may contradict each other. The Post-it Note captures this idea particularly well. A brief sketch implicitly includes the

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