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Turning up the heat: Accelerating digital design innovation

10 Feb 2015  | Lee Ritchey

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Until recently, much of the electronics industry has relied on PCB fabricators to select the materials, design the stackup and calculate the impedances needed on a PCB. This method worked reasonably well before these semiconductor advances were made.

With current and future designs, how well the power delivery system performs along with the quality of the signal paths is intimately tied to how the PCB stackup is engineered. PCB fabricators are not equipped with the technical skill to account for all the issues that need to be dealt with when designing the PCB stackup. As a result, design and signal integrity engineers must take charge of this part of the design process. This requires substantial new skills on the part of this team.

These performance advances require a whole new set of design and fabrication disciplines, as well as far more knowledge of materials available with which fabricate PCBs needed by these advances, not necessary as recently as the year 2000. Due to the rapid changes in technology, university courses and text books have not been able to keep pace, leaving students with an information gap that interferes with their success doing design work on these new products.

Where do engineers and designers turn for the information necessary for success with these new design demands? One place to turn is a seminar being offered by a training company located in Silicon Valley that specialises in this area.

This company is Speeding Edge, whose president, Lee Ritchey, has been actively participating in designs of this complexity and shares this knowledge in three-day seminars offered around the world.

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