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30 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2018 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy and Stephen Las Marias I-CONNECT007 Not too long ago, historically speaking, most electronic products contained only one PCB. But multi-board designs have become almost ubiquitous over the past decade, and EDA software companies are working to improve and simplify the multi-board design process. For this issue of Design007 Magazine, Editors Andy Shaughnessy and Stephen Las Marias spoke with Ben Jordan, director of product and persona marketing for Altium, about the com- pany's multi-board design tools, the challenges that customers face, and the numerous trade- offs that designers must contend with while performing multi-board design. Andy Shaughnessy: Ben, why don't you begin by telling us about multi-board design and multi-board EDA tools. Ben Jordan: Multi-board design is, from my and Altium's point of view, simply the chal- lenge of designing sys- tems where there is more than one printed circuit board. It's not a complicated concept, and many of Altium's engineers and product managers have come from a background of designing new elec- tronics. We even had our own internal hardware team for some time, doing the FPGA development boards. So we had some pretty high-end designers, people like Dave Jones, who runs the EEV blog now, and some of his colleagues back in Australia. We also had the team in Shanghai for a while doing IoT modular design. This all ended up being multi-board systems design. One reason engineering firms do multi-board designs is to divide and conquer. We want to partition a bigger product into smaller mod- ules to make the task of designing those mod- ules and testing those modules as individual clusters of functions that sort of make sense Ben Jordan

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