Top 10 Most-Read Design Articles of 2016


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Every January, I like to go back through the last year and see which articles had the highest number of views. They're usually the articles that bring you PCB design and industry information that's relevant to your job. Check out the most-read PCB design articles from 2016.

  1. The PDN Bandini Mountain and Other Things I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know
    In engineering, it's what you don't know you don't know that can ruin your day and keep you awake at nights. This is especially true after you get your prototypes in the lab, or worse, field returns from the customer. This is one reason why I have been going to DesignCon for the last few years, and 2016 has been no exception.
  2. The Top 10 Ways Designers Can Increase Profits
    Can you truly increase profitability through PCB design practices? Yes, you can. And it starts with a philosophy that embraces DFM techniques. Then you must be ready for the initial release to a fabricator by ensuring that you are communicating all of your specifications and needs clearly to the fabrication house so that you get an accurate quote.
  3. Designers Notebook: Flex and Rigid-Flex Circuit Design Principles, Part 1
    Flexible circuits represent an advanced approach to total electronics packaging, typically occupying a niche that replaces ordinary printed circuit board assemblies and the hard-wire interface needed to join assemblies. 
  4. The Evolution of Altium: Road to a Record-Breaking Year
    Chris Donato, VP of sales for Altium Americas, sat down with Judy Warner recently to discuss what he and Altium have been up to lately, where they came from (Australia) and what the future holds for Altium. 
  5. The Shaughnessy Report: Let’s Get Small
    In our surveys, almost 20% of PCB designer respondents say that dealing with finer features and the accompanying lack of real estate, all while facing tighter deadlines, is taking the fun out of the job. They also believe that many OEM customers are not savvy, shall we say, about the basics of PCB design and manufacturing.
  6. Beyond Design: The Need for Speed—Strategies for Design Efficiency
    design changes that occur early in the design process are less expensive compared to those that take place after it is introduced into full-scale production. The cost of the change increases with development time. Fundamentally, the design changes can be classified into pre-production and post-production modifications.
  7. McCurdy: How to Build a Successful IPC Designers Council Chapter
    After the last Designers Council meeting, Judy Warner spoke with Scott McCurdy about his 13-year tenure as the Orange County chapter president. It’s clear that he is passionate about the value of the Designers Council and the immense educational value it can deliver to the industry in a convenient, low-cost and regional context. He shared his “playbook” on how to build and run a successful Designer’s Council chapter. 
  8. Systematic Estimation of Worst-Case PDN Noise: Target Impedance and Rogue Waves
    Strictly speaking, the target-impedance concept is valid only for flat self-impedance profiles; however, most of our practical designs do not have that luxury. With non-flat impedance profiles, the noise is different. Surprisingly and counterintuitively, keeping the same maximum impedance, the more we deviate from the flat impedance by pushing the impedance down in certain frequency ranges, the higher the worst-case transient noise becomes.
  9. Brooks’ Bits: How Many Vias Does it Take To…?
    Sounds like the opening words of a bad joke. Well, here’s the answer, and it’s no joke: One! That’s right. No matter how much current you are putting down the trace, all you need is a single via. And a small one, at that. OK, that last statement might not be true in every case. But it is true in a lot more cases than you think.
  10. Rogers’ John Coonrod on Insertion Loss
    John Coonrod of Rogers Corporation gave a keynote presentation at the recent Geek-A-Palooza trade show, concentrating on printed circuit board fabrication’s influences on insertion loss. Barry Matties sat down with John to learn more about his presentation and what OEMs and designers need to be aware of to avoid insertion loss.

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3D Convergence of Multiboard PCB and IC Packaging Design

07/18/2018 | Bob Potock, Zuken
A new generation of 3D multiboard product-level design tools offer major improvements by managing multiboard placement in both 2D and 3D, and enabling co-design of the chip, package and board in a single environment. Multiboard design makes it possible to create and validate a design with any combination of system-on-chips (SOCs), packages, and PCBs as a complete system. Chip-package-board co-design enables designers to optimize routability via pin assignment and I/O placement to minimize layer counts between the package, chip and board. The new design methodology makes it possible to deliver more functional, higher performing and less expensive products to market in less time.

Dave Wiens Discusses Multi-board Design Techniques

07/09/2018 | Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
For our multi-board design issue, I interviewed Dave Wiens, product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens business. We discussed how the multi-board design technique differs from laying out single boards, along with the planning, simulation and analysis processes required to design multi-board systems.

Paving the Way for 400Gb Ethernet and 5G

06/26/2018 | Chang Fei Yee, Keysight Technologies
This article briefly introduces the 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) and its application in 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE), to support the booming data traffic volume in conjunction with the deployment of 5G mobile communications. Furthermore, this article also highlights the essential pre-layout effort from signal integrity perspective for physical (PHY) link design on a PCB, including material selection, transmission line design and channel simulation to support 56Gbps data rate that paves the way for seamless communication in 400GbE.



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