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by Jack Olson
Yes, nothing’s perfect.
We designers do our best to maintain accuracy, but the real world produces imperfections:
- Our CAD systems assume that a drill is perfectly centered in a round pad. It never is.
- We declare specific trace widths, but when we measure them on an actual board they are always slightly thinner or thicker.
- Multiple layers are perfectly aligned on our computer screens, but the fabricators can never quite manage to duplicate it. There will always be some misregistration.
- The board design is assumed to be flat, but boards in the final product can be bowed or warped.
- We designate some traces to be impedance controlled, but our measurements differ.
I could go on and on and on, but I think you see the point. As designers, we calculate exact numbers. We design with precision. Our CAD systems show us the ideal board. In the real world, however, nothing is so precise. The final product will vary from the ideal in one way or another, but hopefully in ways that are harmless.
Read the full column here.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.
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Andy Shaughnessy, PCB Design007
At PCB West, Zuken shared a booth with Nano Dimension. Zuken has been working with Nano Dimension for some time, and adding support for 3D printing and nanotechnology to its design tool platforms. I sat down with Zuken’s Humair Mandavia and Nano Dimension’s Simon Fried to learn more about this alliance, and to find out more about this odd-looking box being demonstrated in Zuken’s booth.
Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
European Editor Pete Starkey and Ucamco Managing Director Karel Tavernier discuss Ucamco’s cloud-based Communic8tor platform which facilitates two-way communication between the CAM engineer and the PCB designer, or any other party involved in the manufacturing process. This gives real-time access to image data and annotations, enabling queries to be resolved, changes to be approved, and a full communications history to be maintained.
The I-Connect007 Team
When we began planning the October issue on signal integrity, we arranged a conference call with a variety of industry experts. Mike Steinberger of SiSoft, Mark Thompson of Prototron Circuits, and Yogen and Sunny Patel of Candor Industries joined editors Andy Shaughnessy, Patty Goldman, Happy Holden and Publisher Barry Matties on the call for a spirited discussion about the challenges related to signal integrity and some of the tricks of the trade for helping ensure SI.