Rapid prototyping and first-article inspection are technologies that have been around for years, but should gain significant momentum in the coming months as companies look to cut the cost of new products. It can't happen soon enough: Years ago then-Flextronics CTO Nic Braithwaite told me he calculated a large, multi-board server program could conceivably cost $50 million to ramp, once all the ECOs and respins were accounted for.
PCB design software development wasn’t always dominated by a trio of giants. Even not-so-old timers will remember the landscape once overflowed with small, entrepreneurial businesses. Pads, Cooper & Chyan, Redac, CADI, CADAM, OrCAD, Symbionics, ACT, Ambit and countless others were the foundation for what has emerged as Mentor Graphics, Cadence and Zuken.