The Digital Layout: Recent IPC DC Chapter Activities

We’re onto the second half of the year now, and we’ve seen lots of activities within our local Designers Council (DC) Chapters, including a few international chapters as well. It’s great to see and hear of the continued activities from professional development to knowledge sharing and networking taking place at various industry events. Here is a snapshot of what has taken place so far from several of our active chapters.

If you are involved in discussions, whether it is in a small or a large group, about industry content regarding PCB design, fabrication, or assembly, but you are not part of IPC, then I highly recommend you contact me so that I can assist you in joining the IPC collective. It’s totally free and well worth it! And if you are an industry veteran with lots of experience, yet not active in IPC, or simply a college student starting your career, this is a great group to join and get plugged in. I hope to hear from those who are not part of IPC, especially within a DC Chapter. 

Silicon Valley Chapter, California
by Chapter Leader: Bob McCreight

Around 32 people attended our Q3 meeting on July 25. Many thanks to Altium, Amazon, and the guest speakers. To start the meeting, we were treated to a nice greeting from Umar Shah and Charles Rusch from Amazon Lab126. Then, we went around the room, and each attendee introduced themselves. It was nice to put faces with the names. Stephen Golemme followed with a quick presentation about the IPC-2231 standards committee he is part of. Next, Judy Warner talked about AltiumLive 2019 and her OnTrack podcast.

The feature presentation by Vincent Himpe of Tesla was well received and sparked some lively discussion. His talk, "What’s in a Name: Making Sure There Is No Ambiguity When Exchanging Data," explored several key items. He touched on schematic symbols, reference designators, footprints, net names, component values, and file names.

Our next meeting will be October 24 in San Jose. Zuken will host, and Pal Pilot will sponsor lunch.

Scott Nuance from Optimum Design Associates will present "Best Practices for RF and Mixed Technology PCB Design." I will be setting up the invitation in a few weeks, so save the date.

Cascade Chapter (Seattle), Washington
by Chapter Leader: Tim Mullin 

In addition to my role as the Cascade Chapter president, other board members include Paul Brendt (VP), Jerome Larez (treasurer), Aubrey Moore (secretary), Cherie Litson (education chairperson), and Cory Grunwald (webmaster).

Held at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, we had our Q1 meeting in April. Dinner was sponsored by Aerotek, and speakers included Cherie Litson, Tim Mullin, and Jerome Larez. The roundtable discussion covered three topics: cutting-edge technologies, IPC standards, and materials and processes. Held in June, Mentor was the dinner sponsor for the Q2 meeting, and the guest speaker was Robert Hanson, who discussed “Achieving Signal Integrity and Meeting EMI Radiation Requirements.” 

The speakers and topics are still to be determined, but our Q3 meeting will be held on September 18, and the Q4 meeting will be December 4, both at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Mark your calendars!

Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter, North Carolina
by Chapter Leader: Tony Cosentino 

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter supports the Raleigh-Durham area, and we held our first meeting at the end of January, including an election for the new slate of leaders: myself as president, Randy Faucette (VP), Steve Trasatto (treasurer), Ian Jackson (secretary), and Lance Olive (membership). Hosted by Protolabs in Morrisville, North Carolina, the guest speaker was Eric Utley, applications engineer at Protolabs, who spoke on “3D Printing: Beyond Prototyping.” The 24 attendees also toured the Protolabs facility.

Our March meeting including 20 attendees and was hosted by CertifiGroup in Cary, North Carolina. Josh Hunt, field service manager at CertifiGroup, addressed “Environmental Testing for Reliability of Products and Components.” There was also a site tour of the CertifiGroup facility.

In June, there were 25 attendees. Ian Jackson, the elected secretary, dropped out of office due to workload issues, and the position is open and being backfilled by Steve Trasatto, the current treasurer. Hosted by Ixia, a Keysight Business, in Morrisville, North Carolina, guest speakers Shruthi Soora and Dr. Mike Barts from the Wireless Research Center addressed “PCB Antenna Considerations From Concept to Certification.”

July and August served as a summer break for the chapter, and the date and details for the September meeting will be announced soon. In addition, PCB Carolina 2019 is approaching and will be held November 13 at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. It’s free to all attendees and includes a keynote and 16 technical sessions. Based on last year, the projected attendance is 1,000 attendees, and the vendor floor is already sold out (Figure 1).


San Diego Chapter: California
by Chapter Leader: Luke Hausherr

Our last meeting was held at the Del Mar Electronics show with around 35 attendees. Altium paid for everybody’s lunch. I made my debut as the new chapter president since Bob Griffith has retired. I gave a short speech thanking the community for their support and explained my objectives to increase membership. John Carney from Cadence is now the secretary, and Judy Warner from Altium joins the team as education chair. 

Gerry Partida—the director of engineering for Summit Interconnect in Anaheim, California—spoke on “CAD to PCB: Your Data and What I Actually Do With It.” His presentation provided a great overview in understanding the input and data review process of your design data in front-end engineering departments at PCB fabrication companies. We then had a raffle where we gave away a bunch of vendor- and chapter-sponsored items. 

Our next meeting will be held at San Diego PCB in September. Jeffrey Jenkins, PCB chief technologist at L3 Communications, will be giving a presentation about conformal coating, what is it, and why to use it. 

Orange County Chapter, California
by Chapter Leader: Scott McCurdy 

We had our latest “lunch ‘n learn” chapter meeting on July 18 at JT Schmid’s Restaurant banquet room in Anaheim, California. We had a very well-attended event with 68 designers and PCB professionals in the audience. The topic was “How Fabrication Processes Determine DFM Guidelines” presented by Julie Ellis, field applications engineer at TTM Technologies Inc. She gave a detailed look at fabrication realities to help designers understand capabilities and tradeoffs. It was very educational and generated lots of questions from the audience.

I wish to thank Altium for sponsoring much of the lunch cost of the meeting and also for providing a three-day pass to their upcoming AltiumLive event in San Diego as one of our door prizes. PCB Libraries provided a generous grand prize for a one-year Cloud License of their full-featured PCB Library Expert Enterprise tool. We also had other raffle prizes donated by Mentor and Freedom CAD Services.

International Chapters

Our international chapters continue to be very active, two of which have been showcased in recent columns. The Monterrey Chapter is led by Luis Saracho, and the Sonora Chapter is headed by Robert Ivan Villalba Gonzalez. 

IPC CID/CID+ Certification Success
by Stephen V. Chavez, MIT, CID+

We continue to have successful IPC CID and CID+ certifications classes to date, resulting in many new and seasoned engineers and designers successfully achieving their certifications. Congratulations to all who have recently successfully achieved their new IPC CDI/CDI+ certification! Welcome to the family!

In the next section, you will find the remaining training sessions to take advantage of as well as upcoming PCB design events.

2019 Training and Certification Schedule

IPC Certified Interconnect Designer (CID)

  • November 2–5: Raleigh, NC
  • November 5–8: Dallas, TX 

IPC Advanced Certified Interconnect Designer CID+

  • November 2–5: Raleigh, NC
  • December 3–6: Manchester, NH

Note: Dates and locations are subject to change. Contact EPTAC Corporation to check current dates and availability. A minimum enrollment of seven students is required for a class to be held.

Upcoming PCB Design Event

PCB Carolina 20191

  • November 13: Raleigh, NC

The IPC Designers Council is an international network of designers. Its mission is to promote printed circuit board design as a profession and to encourage, facilitate, and promote the exchange of information and integration of new design concepts through communications, seminars, workshops, and professional certification through a network of local chapters.

Stephen Chavez is a member of the IPC Designers Council Executive Board and chairman of the communications subcommittee. To contact Chavez, click yellow email talk bubble to the left underneath headshot.



The Digital Layout: Recent IPC DC Chapter Activities


We’re onto the second half of the year now, and we’ve seen lots of activities within our local Designers Council (DC) Chapters, including a few international chapters as well. Here's a snapshot of what has taken place so far from several of our active chapters.

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The Digital Layout: New and Thriving Chapters in Mexico


This month’s column highlights the Monterrey Designers Council Chapter located in Monterrey, Mexico. The chapter was established November 23, 2017, which makes it a younger chapter compared to several other global chapters currently in existence today. I also share news about a new chapter forming in Nogales, Mexico.

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The Digital Layout: Spotlight on the Orange County Chapter


So, what’s so special about the Orange County Chapter? For starters, we’re fortunate that a large number of electronics companies are located in Southern California, so there are many PCB designers in our area who are thirsty for knowledge. We are also lucky to have many local PCB fabrication and assembly companies from which we draw attendees and speakers. All of the major CAE vendors have offices and technical field personnel here and have been very supportive of our chapter in hosting lunches to help us keep our costs down.

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The Digital Layout: San Diego Chapter Updates and More


This month’s column is packed with recent activities, including a spotlight on the San Diego Chapter and an interview with Luke Hausherr, the new chapter president. You’ll also find an update from the IPC Designers Council Executive Board as collaboration with the new IPC Education Foundation continues to evolve and recommended reading featuring an interview with a young designer.

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The Digital Layout: Designer Highlights From IPC APEX EXPO 2019


The IPC Designers Council Executive Board meeting took place on January 29. Executive Board members in attendance included Gary Ferrari, Mike Creeden, Cherie Litson, Kelly Dack, Thomas Romont, and me. We also had Michael Schleicher, a guest representative from Germany, in attendance. Further, Dr. John Mitchell, Dave Hernandez, Colette Buscemi, Teresa Rowe, Aaron Birney, and Charlene Gunter du Plessis represented IPC.

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The Digital Layout: Greater Phoenix Chapter Revived


The Greater Phoenix chapter was revived in late 2018 after being largely dormant over the past few years. It has also undergone some leadership changes. As the former president, I have taken on a more active global role at the executive level of the IPC Executive DC Board as the communications officer at large. I will stay on the leadership committee for the Greater Phoenix Chapter as the VP at the request of the newly elected president, Randy Kumagai. Randy and I have already started to brainstorm with ways to kickstart the chapter’s activity in 2019.

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The Digital Layout: Cascade Designers Council Chapter and 2019 Activities


Our CID+ class had four people enrolled who came from around the area. All who attended learned about how board materials affected their designs, including EMI, EMC, impedance control, power distribution techniques, board stackups, and placement strategies in more detail than what was in the CID. Further, participants took the exam first thing Friday morning. This allowed us time to attend the Designers Council “lunch-and-learn” meeting, and the Altium user group met afterward in the same location.

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The Digital Layout: Chapter Highlights and Certification Successes


This month’s column highlights the San Diego chapter, which is also where IPC APEX EXPO 2019 will be held at the end of January. You will also find updates on recent CID and CID+ certification success stories, a recap of the PCB Carolina event from the Research Triangle Park (RTP) North Carolina chapter, and upcoming events, so mark your calendars for next year.

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The Digital Layout: Chapter Roundup and CID+ Certification


This month’s spotlight is the Silicon Valley Chapter. We held our fall quarterly meeting on October 25, 2018, at none other than Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California—yes, the site of Super Bowl 50 and the soon-to-be 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game. This was made possible by our host, Sierra Circuits, and sponsor, Altium. We thank them both graciously. Out of 33 total RSVPs, 24 were able to attend the lunchtime meeting. Fun fact: of the members who RSVPed, six of them were CID certified and 10 were CID+ certified, with Faisal Ahmed being the most recent (hear more from him later).

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The Digital Layout: Designers Council Update and PCB Carolina 2018


Welcome to the first edition of "The Digital Layout." As a current IPC Designers Council (DC) Executive Board member and a long-time active IPC member, I was nominated to be the chairman of the newly created communications subcommittee. In this role, I will be the main point of contact for global chapter communications and will work with local IPC chapter leaders to publish content in this new column. We want to utilize this column to help spread the IPC DC Executive Board’s goals like a virus.

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