Libraries: A Must-have for Design

Reading time ( words)

Last month, I-Connect007 was invited to attend a session of the Orange County Chapter of the IPC Designers Council (DC). Even though I have been an IPC member for over half a century (yes, almost since vacuum tubes dominated design), this was my first DC event.

The Orange County Chapter is the largest IPC DC in the U.S. They have a very active group of 50–70 PCB designers, associates, and other experts attend these regularly scheduled “lunch ‘n learn” events. Everyone in attendance gets the chance to have lunch together; talk about the industry, the economy, and even politics; and hear outstanding speakers make educational presentations on a wide variety of PCB-related topics. The few hours spent by those in attendance was quite valuable, including meeting with colleagues and building or renewing relationships. Many locals who attended could still get back to the office afterward.

Primarily designers were at this event but there were also others in the industry, including suppliers. It has been my opinion for quite some time that increased discourse between suppliers and designers is a major plus for the industry. In the past, designers would sometimes wish for a product to meet their needs, and suppliers might have a product that had not been commercialized due to their not realizing that it might be needed by those designing the next generation of devices.

DesignersCouncil_DF_Figure 1.jpg

Scott McCurdy

The meeting started with an introduction by Scott McCurdy, the president of the Orange County Chapter of the IPC DC and the director of sales and marketing for Freedom CAD Services Inc. He provided an update on the council’s activities and previewed the day’s presentations as well as thanked the various industry organizations and press for their support.

DesignersCouncil_DF_Figure 2.jpg

Natasha Baker

This meeting included two excellent presentations. The first one was by Natasha Baker, the founder and CEO of SnapEDA, who gave a very informative presentation on the mistakes even the best engineers make as well as how and why to build better libraries. Without stating it directly, she clearly showed the high value of SnapEDA library available to circuit designers and used etfby over one million engineers.

DesignersCouncil_DF_Figure 3 Terri Kleekamp.jpg

Terri Kleekamp

The second presentation, which was also interesting and providing valuable information for designers, was by Terri Kleekamp of Mentor, a Siemens Business, titled "Practices for ECAD Library Development."

DesignersCouncil_DF_Figure 3a Mentor.jpg

Mentor presentation

After the event, Natasha Baker was kind enough to sit down for an interview. I caught up with her to discuss the importance of libraries in design, current best practices, and how SnapEDA is enabling a new generation of engineers to bring their ideas to life more quickly and efficiently.

DesignersCouncil_DF_Figure 4.jpg

Overall, if you are involved with the design segment in any way and have not done so, find out where the nearest IPC Designers Council meets near you and seriously consider attending one of these sessions.

Dan Feinberg: I’m at the IPC Orange County Designers Council session with Natasha Baker from SnapEDA. You gave a very interesting and informative presentation to the group. What does the “EDA” in SnapEDA stand for?

Natasha Baker: Hi, Dan. EDA stands for electronic design automation. It’s a term coined in the 1980s, which encapsulates both computer-aided design (CAD)—which originally referred to PCB layout in the electronics industry—and computer-aided engineering (CAE)—which referred to the front-end design (schematic capture and simulation).

Feinberg: That’s a great name, and I love your logo.

Baker: Thank you.


Suggested Items

A New Sourcing Paradigm

09/20/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
We’ve seen many changes over the past few years, and nowhere are they more evident than in the world of sourcing components. Sourcing has become one of the biggest challenges facing PCB designers and design engineers today. Gone are the days of procuring parts from a single source, and communication between stakeholders and distributors is critical. But as we learned in a conversation with I-Connect007 columnist Kelly Dack, PCB designers can use certain layout strategies to plan for the unexpected, such as leaving extra real estate so that smaller components can be replaced by larger, readily available parts if the originals become “unobtainium.”

Happy’s Design Tips for Material Conservation

08/25/2022 | Happy Holden, I-Connect007
For this issue, Happy Holden provided a range of options for designers who are seeking to conserve materials in their next design. He also offered an example of the relative cost index, or RCI, that he developed at HP exclusively for PCB design. With this RCI, designers can figure out the relative cost of a new design compared to an eight-layer through-hole board. We hope you can use this handy formula on your next design job.

Cadence Provides ‘Clarity’ in Design Tool

08/11/2022 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Nolan Johnson recently spoke with Brad Griffin, product marketing director for Cadence Design Systems, about Cadence’s Matrix solver technology. They discuss its use as a multi-disciplinary field solver as well as Cadence’s focus on thermal analysis and utilizing the power of the cloud.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.