Category Archives: Laying It Out

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

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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VTP: Very Tiny Parts

A while back, I wrote about a new ARM Cortex M0+ chip from Freescale. It’s not the first M0+, but I do believe that it’s the smallest. I’ve been checking stock off and on and finally found the smallest package … Continue reading

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The HP Split

Those wondering how the HP split might shake out should read this piece in Bloomberg today. In summary, HP’s PC group just lost some of its pricing advantage, as the servers and other business-oriented gear are going with the new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company. HP … Continue reading

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Cost Reduction in Design — More Advice

If you’re looking for the absolute, cheapest possible assembly service, you’ll need to look outside of North America. If you really need a decent price with good quality and good service, you can keep your gaze West of the Atlantic … Continue reading

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The End of the Viasystems Era

At long last, the hunter became the hunted. TTM Technologies today announced its pending acquisition of Viasystems. The deal, expected to close in early 2015, will vault TTM to second place among the world’s largest PCB fabricators. No matter how … Continue reading

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