The Shaughnessy Report: All About That Via?


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Imagine that you support a few PCB designers working on cutting-edge applications that utilize RF, microwave, and other high-speed design technologies. Some of you may fit this description.

Now, imagine you’re supporting 1,700 designers across 50 countries, speaking a variety of languages. Monica Andrei of the Germany-based Continental Automotive Systems doesn’t have to imagine; for her, that’s just a typical day at the office—if you can call that typical.

Andrei was one of the speakers at Zuken Innovation World (ZIW), held June 1–3 at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort and Spa in San Diego. This annual event draws Zuken designers and engineers from every segment of the electronics industry. Zuken usually picks a nice venue for their events, but Coronado Island is pretty much unbeatable. It was 70 degrees on the water, with a good breeze blowing. If you have to work, Coronado Island is the place to be! Big thanks to Zuken’s Amy Clements for putting this whole thing together.

Continental develops electronic systems, tires, fuel injection systems and more for many of the world’s car and truck makers, including all of the German companies, General Motors, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Renault, Iveco, and Freightliner Trucks. Andrei, now based in Detroit, joked about the logistics involved in supporting 1,700 PCB designers and engineers in so many countries and time zones. Continental had €34 billion in sales last year.

The automotive, military, and aerospace segments make up a good chunk of Zuken’s market share. Technologists from these areas and more were all represented at ZIW. As in years past, when the event was known as ZDAC, I ran into dozens of Zuken users who really love their tools. And I don’t mean the normal love/hate relationship many of you have with your tools. Most designers tell me, “I love how my software does X and Y, but the way it does Z makes me pull out what’s left of my hair. I wish my EDA company would listen to me.”  

To read this entire article, which ran in the June 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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