March 1, 2009 -- In todayís tense economic environment, companies that have not outsourced their PCB design value their designers as an integral project team member. As "first to market," "quality first" and other positive expressions permeate your office, how can you, as a PCB designer, personally help your companyís short-term survival and long-term growth? One opportunity is by frequently using manufacturing analysis tools throughout the PCB design process to identify fabrication and assembly problems (especially after an ECO is introduced into the design). Eliminating these manufacturing problems as they are found will significantly improve your chances of shipping out the PCB design on or ahead of a projectís schedule, as well as minimizing initial in-house inspection of your build package at the fabrication and assembly houses.
The traditional PCB fabrication and EDA industries have adapted incrementally to the evolutionary development of printed circuit boards over the last few decades, without significant technological discontinuity. From the demands for high-end consumer products such as cellular telephones, to the medical field and reaching into aero/military products, all have revolutionized the PCB industry. No longer are the traditional design and fabrication methodologies sufficient. These types of products must be made faster, lighter and smaller, with less cost and higher quality. This high-tech density revolution has created the need for OEMs to embrace high-density interconnect (HDI) technology.
However, the arrival of HDI circuits now represents a discontinuity in technology for PCB fabricators and the EDA industryódue to the sudden reductions in dimensional scale. HDI products go beyond the scope of traditional PCB fabrication processes. The changes in build architectures no longer match up with the database structures and the assumptions that were inherent in previous generations of CAD/CAM systems.
By Happy Holden and Daniel Smith. (Holden is senior technologist with Mentor Graphics Corp. and Smith is technical instructor with Mentor Graphics Corp.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
View the entire article on the Printed Circuit Design & Fab website.
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