I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week

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It’s that time again…the weekend. Fin de semana. Zhōumò. Wochenende. Didn’t this seem like a long week?

In this week’s roundup, we have news about a new DFM environment from Siemens EDA, a 2D field solver from Avishtech, and a milestone for the IPC-CFX-2591 QPL. We also have a great article by Calumet’s Audra Thurston, who points out the many advantages of a virtual trade show. And in his latest column, Denny Fritz explains why the DoD is now thinking like many U.S. OEMs—worrying about single-source components, for instance—but the stakes are much higher.

Spring is here, and I’m hoping to attend a live trade show soon. PCB East is set for June 15-17 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, but DesignCon has been moved back to August 16-18 in San Jose. What’s the Vegas spread on live conferences in 2021? But if enough people are vaccinated in the next few months, live events might become the norm again.   

Siemens Introduces PCBflow
Published April 5

The integration of the Mentor tools into the Siemens hierarchy continues with the launch of PCBflow, which could be a real gamechanger for DFM. The Valor DFM platform powers the Siemens Xcelerator, creating an environment that allows designers to locate fabricators whose processes are better optimized for each OEM. DFM violations can be addressed during the design process, cutting DFM review time down to minutes. And there seems to be no learning curve here, with PCBflow primarily operating in the background.    

Emerging Engineers: Audra Thurston
Published April 2

During the recent virtual trade shows in our industry, I’ve spoken with a few salty veterans (i.e., older than I am) who are hoping that all this virtual hooey is over with pretty soon so we can get back to traveling to shows and conferences. But what do the younger engineers think about the virtual format? In this article from our Show & Tell Magazine, Emerging Engineer Audra Thurston of Calumet Electronics explains why she’s a big fan of the virtual model, and why she hopes that our industry’s shows will adopt a hybrid plan—part live event, part virtual. People Audra’s age will be running the industry before you know it; will the virtual format become a permanent part of the trade show of the future?

Avishtech Introduces Latest Generation of Its Revolutionary Gauss 2D Field Solver Tool
Published April 6

Avishtech hasn’t been around very long, but the Silicon Valley company is already establishing itself as a player in the signal integrity tool arena. Avishtech recently introduced its Gauss Stack stackup tool, and now the company, founded by Keshav Amla, has launched the Gauss 2D field solver, which can predict resin starvation and provide board-level thermomechanical properties. This might be a company to watch in the future.

IPC-CFX-2591 Qualified Product Listing Achieves Major Milestone
Published April 5

IPC has reached a milestone in its efforts to provide an IPC-CFX-qualified equipment shopping list for companies seeking to become Smart Factories. The IPC-CFX-2591 QPL (qualified product listing) now contains 10 products from five companies; each product has passed a third-party virtual audit. The move to the Smart Factory continues.

Defense Speak Interpreted: Industrial Base Evaluation
Published April 6

In his latest column, Denny Fritz explains why the Department of Defense recently released an industrial strategy and not a battle plan. As Denny points out, every single DoD program of the future is affected by Defense’s ability to source PCBs—from trusted suppliers. And the U.S. is lacking in several areas—such as production of organic IC substrates—that are vital to the missions of tomorrow’s warfighters. It’s great having a columnist like Denny who can translate DoD documents into real-life information.


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Don't Blink: The IPC APEX EXPO Time-lapse

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It’s a tradition here at I-Connect007 to set up a time-lapse for IPC APEX EXPO. There’s something satisfying, mesmerizing even, to watch the show floor build out and see the moment when the doors open and visitors fill the exhibit hall. Based on what others have said over the years, I know I’m not the only one whose favorite part is when the carpet gets rolled out and the whole character of the exhibition changes. This time lapse starts on the Saturday prior and continues through the Thursday tear-down phase.

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