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May 16, 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Freedom CAD Services. Freedom CAD was founded on this day by Lou and Lauren Primmer, pioneers in the PCB CAD industry. They launched Freedom CAD when Plexus decided to divest the Nashua, NH design center in 2003.
The Primmers formed Freedom CAD with 11 other ex-Plexus employees to service a number of long time regional customers. Since then, Freedom CAD has grown to become one of the largest independent design services companies in North America.
Over the past 15 years they have more than tripled their staff of topnotch designers and now have designers working across the US. In addition to supporting Cadence Allegro, Mentor’s Xpedition and PADS and Altium PCB CAD tools, Freedom CAD also provides PCB electrical and mechanical engineering services, signal and power integrity analysis and prototype fulfillment services.
“In 2003, we had a vision to create the highest quality independent printed circuit board design service company in the country,” said Lou Primmer. “We believed we could leverage our ‘structured, large corporation’ experience and create a nimble, privately held company. I’m pleased to say that we were successful at accomplishing this and the fact that we are ITAR-registered and ISO9001-certified, both of which require structure and process control, are indicators of this accomplishment. And during this time we have leveraged this structure and nimbleness to expand our customer base from regional to national and include many of the Fortune 100 Electronics OEMs. I’m proud to see the vision become a reality and look forward to the next 15 years!”
Bob Potock, Zuken
A new generation of 3D multiboard product-level design tools offer major improvements by managing multiboard placement in both 2D and 3D, and enabling co-design of the chip, package and board in a single environment. Multiboard design makes it possible to create and validate a design with any combination of system-on-chips (SOCs), packages, and PCBs as a complete system. Chip-package-board co-design enables designers to optimize routability via pin assignment and I/O placement to minimize layer counts between the package, chip and board. The new design methodology makes it possible to deliver more functional, higher performing and less expensive products to market in less time.
Andy Shaughnessy, I-Connect007
For our multi-board design issue, I interviewed Dave Wiens, product marketing manager for Mentor, a Siemens business. We discussed how the multi-board design technique differs from laying out single boards, along with the planning, simulation and analysis processes required to design multi-board systems.
Chang Fei Yee, Keysight Technologies
This article briefly introduces the 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) and its application in 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE), to support the booming data traffic volume in conjunction with the deployment of 5G mobile communications. Furthermore, this article also highlights the essential pre-layout effort from signal integrity perspective for physical (PHY) link design on a PCB, including material selection, transmission line design and channel simulation to support 56Gbps data rate that paves the way for seamless communication in 400GbE.