Our July webinar with Rick Hartley was well received. He was kind enough to provide a recommended reading list. If you are interested in the recording, please click here.
At the Del Mar Electronics Show in 2013, I had an opportunity to meet the publisher of US Tech. As a result of the meeting, I was given the opportunity to write about component library issues. The article below was to test the waters to see if there would be any response. The idea was to start a series on the topic of libraries. This article focuses on the need for a good bill of materials.
This article was written in the waning days of Tality. I had started in the Test and Prototyping group at Cadence and had worked my way into the ASIC design group 4 years later. One of my first efforts in the group was to write a test bench for a particular ASIC that would eventually be used to produce the vector “dumps”. These data “dumps” would be massaged for the test systems.
As a young engineer, it was a goal of mine to publish an article. Fortunately, Tality had incentives that encouraged such activity. This represents my first ever published paper.
My first job out of college was working for Cadence Design Systems in San Diego. At the time, Joe Costello was the CEO. He was very charismatic, and working for Cadence was truly exciting. The quarterly meetings were known as “The Joe Show.” You didn’t want to miss it because Joe aimed to entertain when he spoke.
When Cadence had purchased the design groups at the Unisys facility in San Diego, they were also required to purchase other support groups as well, mainly, the test group and the failure analysis group.
Recently, Nine Dot Connects, a printed circuit board centric organization, became the national VAR for SOLIDWORKS PCB. With that came the opportunity to explore the mechanical side of design in our effort to better understand and prepare for the future of mechatronic design. Like the old saying, ‘Can’t see the forest for the trees’, this insight into the mechanical domain gave us the opportunity to step back and see the electrical design flow from afar. It became apparent when compared to mechanical libraries, the PCB library structure is complicated by several factors, some by the very nature of electrical design, and others are self-inflicted by the PCB industry. Continue reading When it comes to libraries, maybe it’s time to take a page from the mechanical folks!
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.
Author’s note – For clarification purposes, SOLIDWORKS will be referred to as ‘SOLIDWORKS CAD’ to differentiate from SOLIDWORKS PCB.
Though STEP files are critical in collaboration between MCAD, such as SOLIDWORKS CAD, and ECAD, such as SOLIDWORKS PCB, an important issue has become more significant as of late. Because there are many ways for an electronics designer to obtain STEP files, it is difficult (if not impossible) to know what tool was used, or more importantly if the STEP file was validated. This is not just true for components that may have been downloaded from 3DContentCentral.com. Also, such components can be provided by OEMs who then, provide them to suppliers, such as Digi-Key and Mouser.
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?