Category Archives: Laying It Out

Off-grid thoughts from a burned-out designer turned editor.

OrCAD: A Look Back

Here’s something fun for a Friday: EMA has put together a video recap of the past 30 years of products designed with OrCAD, in commemoration of the PCB CAD tool’s 30th anniversary. (We had one of those Polaroids and the Atari, by the … Continue reading

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OMG and MacDermid? OMG!

Not nearly enough attention is being paid to the pending acquisition of OMG’s electronic chemicals business by MacDermid’s parent company. This deal will throw even more market share to MacDermid, and the big question becomes how will smaller fabs (i.e., the vast majority of the North … Continue reading

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CAD Software Pricing Wars Heat Up

Another price/performance battle is heating up in PCB design software, and this time Altium could feel the burn. Altium has experienced decent growth over the past few years, reaching about $75 million in annual sales. That’s not a huge sum compared to … Continue reading

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Fewer Reports Not in Altium’s Best Interest

Always a company that operates behind a veil of mystique, Altium will take that secrecy to a new level with its latest board decision which pares its quarterly earnings reports to semiannual announcements. In a statement today, the PCB design software company said the decision … Continue reading

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Component Footprint Rotation

Before we (or any old assembly house) go about putting surface mount parts on a board, we need to program our assembly robots. I’m oversimplifying, but essentially, the machine program needs to know the X / Y coordinates, relative to the … Continue reading

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Hats Off to Gary

Congratulations to Gary Ferrari, who last month became the 33d person to gain induction to the IPC Hall of Fame. For printed circuit board designers, this is something of a symbolic victory, as Ferrari is just the third designer (after … Continue reading

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The Best-Read PCD&F Articles in 2014

As we did with CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY on Monday, here’s the list of the best-read new articles at PCDandF.com this year. Leading the pack was IMI president Peter Bigelow, whose piece “When ‘Scaling Up’ Leads to ‘Belly Up’ ” received the most hits of … Continue reading

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The Most-Read CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Articles of 2014

People often ask what our most popular topics are. There are many ways to slice and dice that, but what we’ve done the past few years is announced the Top 10 most-read articles of each year. Number one in 2014 … Continue reading

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The December Issue of PCD&F/CA

Our December issue hits the digital streets today and features a cover story from Terry Munson at Foresite, who performed a comparison of analytical techniques using 25 conformal-coated no-clean assemblies after environmental testing for 40°C/90%RH for 168 hr. Terry found FTIR, … Continue reading

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Optimal at Optimum

As corporate models go, Optimum Design Associates isn’t unique. Several firms have launched as design shops only to add EMS capability as they matured. But one thing ODA does that I really like is provide a much greater level of detail about … Continue reading

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