Feeling the Pain of Chip Shortages?

Empty Shelves

The present chip shortage has made plenty of headlines in the mainstream press. Where this is most acutely felt is in the printed circuit board design space.  Components (a.k.a chips) are electronic functional elements that make up a circuit.  They come together on a medium known as the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).  These are the green boards you find in your electronic equipment.

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I’ll Stick with Mils. Thank You Very Much.

In the field of printed circuit board design, there has been a constant clamor to get designers off the imperial unit system known as the mil.  The mil is 1/1000th of an inch.  It has been used throughout the history of PCB design.  Classic component packages like the DIP were designed using the mil for pin spacing.

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Of Muscle Memory and Game Controllers

In the world of EDA tools, there is a factor that may inhibit you or your colleagues from a desire to change to or consider other EDA tools. It is not apparent, yet it is well studied.  Your hesitation may be an aspect of procedural memory commonly referred to as muscle memory.

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Of Libraries and Interns

Interns

It is the time of the year when companies hire interns for the summer.  Let’s face it.  Interns are hired to help with the stuff that most designers and engineers do not have the time to address.  In our experience, that means libraries.  Libraries are the bane of every engineering organization.  They are important, but they are time-consuming and tedious.  What better activity to give to a greenhorn?  Right? 

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Beyond Altium Designer Symbol Centric Libraries – A Primer on External Tools for Library Management

One of the greatest banes of PCB design is the maintenance of component libraries.  There are over 1 billion electrical components on the market according to SiliconExpert.  Although there are numerous ways of obtaining components, each company must organize their components to fit their needs and workflow.

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The Ten Fundamental Rules of High-speed PCB Design

In addition to creating his iCD tool suite, Barry Olney is a contributor to PCB007.  One of the reasons why we represent Barry’s tool is the fact that his tool was designed with his knowledge and experience in high-speed PCB design.

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Planning on Hanging Your Technical Shingle?

If you are like most engineers, you may be frustrated with the day-to-day grind of the office place.  No one seems to listen to ideas and concerns.  No one seems to have the energy or drive to take things to the next level of excellence. Promotions and opportunities never seem to come your way.  The extra work and effort are hardly appreciated, if at all.  Management seems to be making a lot of money without doing much or even bothering to understand what’s being done.

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The Dedicated PCB Layout Artist – Is This a Sustainable Profession?

The August 2017 edition of Printed Circuit Design and Fab Circuits Assembly acknowledged what many of us PCB designers have suspected; there is a strong need to train young people in the art of PCB design.  It is becoming a lost art in a time when it is ever so needed.  With the current technological upswing, it is truly a great time to be an experienced PCB designer.  But while being an experienced PCB designer is one thing, getting more people to embrace a job as a dedicated PCB designer is another.

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Dealing with ODBC 32/64-bit Database Compatibility Issues in Altium Designer

With the 64-bit Altium Designer Version 18 release, there may be some compatibility issues that arise when installing a database library. Though this document focuses on Microsoft Access, the same concept is true for any type of database.

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