HDI Design Education: Is Anyone Interested?


Reading time ( words)

I first became aware of high-density interconnection (HDI) design methodology in 1997 when a co-worker of mine came back from a training class that was taught by Happy Holden. “Little Dave” (since our department had two employees named David W.) came back excited to try this new design knowledge on a multilayer board stackup that only used blind and buried vias, with no through-hole vias. His excitement and dedication paid off, as he completed the design with an autorouter exactly as he planned. Through Dave’s success, our department then started to create other designs using HDI stackups that were taught in Happy’s class and our autorouter tool.

I did a few complex designs that fit into the IPC Type III category. One of the more complex designs I attempted could only autoroute up to 98% completion after trying many setup files (with great assistance from “Big Dave”) and our most powerful computer available within our group. I finished the design manually, and the board was fabricated and worked as designed.

About six months later, when we upgraded our department’s autorouter computer, I restored the design from archive, and re-ran the last autorouter configuration file on that 98% completed design. This time, the design was now 100% completely autorouted, and took about a third less time than on the previous “most powerful” computer. This one little re-investigation became the catalyst for my full immersion into HDI design research, reviewing the existing designs and now trying newer autorouting approaches with a variety of more challenging stackups, via spans, and via sizes. Each new redesign attempt created more curiosity to push autorouters and stackup methodologies to their absolute limits.

Over the next few years, any article written on HDI that crossed my path became assimilated into my mental database. I met Mike Fitts lecturing on HDI at a design conference, and I asked him to clarify my repository of HDI re-design questions. When Mike and I met at another design conference, he introduced me to the very person who inspired Little Dave: Happy Holden.

Read the full column here.


Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.

I first became aware of high-density interconnection (HDI) design methodology in 1997 when a co-worker of mine came back from a training class that was taught by Happy Holden. “Little Dave” (since our department had two employees named David W.) came back excited to try this new design knowledge on a multilayer board stackup that only used blind and buried vias, with no through-hole vias. His excitement and dedication paid off, as he completed the design with an autorouter exactly as he planned. Through Dave’s success, our department then started to create other designs using HDI stackups that were taught in Happy’s class and our autorouter tool.

I did a few complex designs that fit into the IPC Type III category. One of the more complex designs I attempted could only autoroute up to 98% completion after trying many setup files (with great assistance from “Big Dave”) and our most powerful computer available within our group. I finished the design manually, and the board was fabricated and worked as designed.

About six months later, when we upgraded our department’s autorouter computer, I restored the design from archive, and re-ran the last autorouter configuration file on that 98% completed design. This time, the design was now 100% completely autorouted, and took about a third less time than on the previous “most powerful” computer. This one little re-investigation became the catalyst for my full immersion into HDI design research, reviewing the existing designs and now trying newer autorouting approaches with a variety of more challenging stackups, via spans, and via sizes. Each new redesign attempt created more curiosity to push autorouters and stackup methodologies to their absolute limits.

Over the next few years, any article written on HDI that crossed my path became assimilated into my mental database. I met Mike Fitts lecturing on HDI at a design conference, and I asked him to clarify my repository of HDI re-design questions. When Mike and I met at another design conference, he introduced me to the very person who inspired Little Dave: Happy Holden.

Read the full column here.


Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.

Share


Suggested Items

PCB Carolina 2018 Draws a Crowd of Technologists

11/14/2018 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
PCB Carolina 2018, the one-day tabletop show based in Raleigh, North Carolina, drew quite a crowd to the McKimmon Conference and Training Center at NC State University on November 7. Show managers Tony Cosentino, Randy Faucette, and Lance Olive (all employees of the Better Boards service bureau) said that this year’s event showed signs of growth compared to the 2017 show, which was also larger than the previous year. They estimated that about 1,000 people attended this year, and they expect another increase in attendance in 2019.

Cadence Presents New Software System and Technical Papers at PCB West 2018

11/06/2018 | Nolan Johnson, PCB007
During PCB West 2018, I spoke with Dan Fernsebner, product marketing group director, and Hemant Shah, product management group director for enterprise PCB products, both with Cadence Design Systems, about their new software launch—DesignTrue DFM Ecosystem. Fernsebner and Shah also address recent technical papers from Cadence on Industry 4.0, IPC-2581, system-level design, and return-path analysis and management.

Book Review: The Printed Circuit Board Designer’s Guide to… Producing the Perfect Data Package

11/05/2018 | Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
Over the course of his career, Mark Thompson, CID+, engineering support at Prototron Circuits, has evaluated thousands of data packages and delivered numerous talks to designers and engineers about how to create the perfect package. In the spirit of “garbage in, garbage out,” data packages must be perfect to create quality boards. Learn all this and more in The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… Producing the Perfect Data Package!



Copyright © 2018 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.