Altium Focuses on the Designer First


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A few months before I joined Altium, while I was still with I-Connect007, I sat down with Lawrence Romine to discuss the company’s drive to satisfy the individual PCB designer, and not necessarily the OEMs who employ them. Romine also explains what sets designers and engineers apart from the average person, and why some Altium users have a different primary EDA tool, but use Altium when they need a design done fast.

Judy Warner: Lawrence, before we get started, why don't you tell us a little bit about your background.

Lawrence Romine: My background is about 16 years in professional business. My father was an engineer. Grew up working in the garage with my father starting at an early age. We restored British sports cars—MG, Triumph, Jaguar, and motorcycles. It's still what I do for fun.

I have a lifelong passion with aviation. Joined the Navy out of high school and got into avionics and was here at Miramar in the F-14 business, which was very exciting. I finished school and became a design engineer in the audio industry. This was for the audiophile business, which is really much more art than science. I did that for just a handful of years, but then got into the semiconductor business.

I got a job in the semiconductor business and I was selling mostly Xilinx components with a now-purchased distributor called Insight. I did that for four or five years and then moved over to software. I did that for the same reason you made some adjustments in your career. It really became difficult to track business into China and I was looking for an opportunity to get into something that offered a little more instant gratification.

When I engage with a customer at a block diagram level, we’re going to talk about their system and just roughly what technologies they are going to have on this design. Back then they would give you a completion date, a time-to-market date, and it was typically 18 months to two years, and I always added at least six to nine months in my forecasting. I'm sure you have had a similar experience.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the April 2017 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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