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.Continue reading Feeling the Pain of Chip Shortages?
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.Continue reading I’ll Stick with Mils. Thank You Very Much.
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.Continue reading Of Muscle Memory and Game Controllers
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?Continue reading Of Libraries and Interns
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.Continue reading Beyond Altium Designer Symbol Centric Libraries – A Primer on External Tools for Library Management
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.
We at Nine Dot Connects are often asked our opinion and recommendation about various library methodologies. One of the most commonly asked questions is if one should pursue a version-controlled library.
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.
Preface: Mark Saunders is currently a senior at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is one of the few undergraduate students with a working knowledge of PCB design. Although his focus is firmware, he has used Altium Designer for several personal and class projects.
In the design of printed circuit boards, there is a lot of documentation that gets generated. All too often, we give too much information to the board and assembly houses, and yet, do not have the document later on to make modifications!! How can this be?