The next generation of PCB designers is coming—slowly, but surely. What will this new group of designers mean for EDA vendors like Cadence Design Systems? Andy Shaughnessy recently interviewed Dan Fernsebner, product marketing group director and a veteran EDA guy, and Bryan LaPointe, lead product engineer and representative of the younger generation. They discussed the next generation of PCB designers, some of the best ways to draw smart young people into this industry, and why the PCB designers of the future may need to have a college degree just to get an interview.
We have a lot to pass on to the new designers. We must stress the importance of understanding of the roots of our industry and why this design knowledge is important. I have worked with many designers who don’t understand anything about the output of their design files. They go through a procedure, hit a series of commands, and presto: The design files are all wrapped up in a neat little zip file ready to go out to the manufacturer. That’s all well and good, until something breaks or a manufacturer has a specific question. It would be a great thing to make sure that the designers of tomorrow understand what a Gerber file and an aperture list really is.
Multi-board devices are here to stay. But multi-board PCB design brings with it even more challenges for the designer and design engineer. It’s all about management. It reminds me of a juggler trying to keep half a dozen balls...
Chuck Bauer Discusses the Future of Packaging, a conversation with Chuck Bauer
Standard PCB Component Families, Part 1, by Tom Hausherr
PCB Design Challenges: A Package Designer’s Perspective, by Bill Acito
BGA Fanout Routing Overview, by Christian Keller
The Whole Package, by Andy Shaughnessy