For the world’s top PCB manufacturers, Apple and Samsung can make (or break) you.
For those who believe nothing changes in printed circuits, think back just 16 years to the first edition of the NTI-100. The biggest names in PCB manufacturing included Photocircuits, Lucent and Hadco, among others. TTM was just being incorporated. The US and Japan were battling for worldwide bare board supremacy. Taiwan was a relative newcomer, China an after-thought.
Enhancements to the stackup and assembly data have the supply chain signing on to the electronics data transfer format.
Eighteen months ago, Fujitsu Networks Communications CAD engineering manager Gary Carter shipped CAD files for a 12-layer PCB in the IPC-2581A format to a major board fabricator. The fabricator responded, asking for a drawing and profile information. It’s all there, Carter said, it just has to be derived from the CAD file.
Freeware has its limitations, but for some operations it is surprisingly effective.
Larger companies typically have a signal and power integrity department that performs power integrity analysis on development projects, and which has exclusive access to signal integrity software licenses. In these cases, these tools are not available to hardware design engineers. Often, the SI team engineering resources are only available with larger delays or on only one or two occasions during a project. Small companies generally lack SI teams; instead, hardware design engineers perform SI/PI analysis. Many small companies cannot afford to purchase SI/PI simulation software. So, were a hardware design engineer to need some quick simulation or need to experiment, they often simply have to give up getting any accurate SI/PI insight into their designs.
A new generation of data formats for PCB production is emerging that enable the exchange of data between CAD (development) and CAM (production). Würth Elektronik has already been successfully implemented and have shown to bring benefits for customers.