I-Connect007 Editor’s Choice: Five Must-Reads for the Week


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This week, we bring you a wide swath of news, columns, and articles from the past week. Altium announced a new cloud platform that connects design stakeholders with users of its Altium 365 environment. Cadence Design Systems has acquired a company that develops computational fluid dynamics technology to help expand its system analysis offerings.

Columnist Michael Ford clarifies what the term “smart” means, and what it doesn’t. And Hu Yang of Zhongtai Securities has written a great feature that delves into the worldwide price increase of copper-clad laminates, which he predicts could rise to 20% in early 2021. Finally, we bring you the 2020 “Just Ask” Compilation, which features all your questions for some of our experts: Happy Holden, John Mitchell, Joe Fjelstad, Tara Dunn, and Heidi Barnes, as well as their answers. Don’t forget to bookmark this handy compilation!

I-Connect007 'Just Ask' Q&A Compilation Available Now
Published April 21

Last year, we asked readers to send in questions for a who’s who of industry experts: Happy Holden, John Mitchell, Joe Fjelstad, Tara Dunn, and Heidi Barnes. Now, we have compiled all of your questions and the experts’ answers into one handy compendium for your easy access. And don’t forget to pose your questions for our next “Just Ask” series expert, “Trouble in Your Tank” columnist Mike Carano.

Altium’s New Cloud Platform Connects Electronics Industry Ecosystem
Published April 20

Altium continues to expand the technology around Altium 365. The new cloud-based platform Nexar allows design stakeholders to provide their software and services to existing users of Altium 365. After joining the Nexar community, fabricators, EMS companies, and component distributors and manufacturers can offer up-to-date information to PCB designers and engineers during the design cycle. 

Cadence Acquires Pointwise to Expand System Analysis Offerings
Published April 16

Cadence moves further into system analysis with its acquisition of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) development company Pointwise. The Pointwise mesh-generation technology reads in data from the leading CAD formats and will build upon Cadence’s Clarity and Celsius product line.

Time, Space, Structure, and Model Analysis of CCL Price Increase
Published April 19

Hu Yang of Zhongtai Securities Research Center authored this investigative article for our partners at PCB China Magazine. As Hu explains, prices of materials are expected to increase, possibly up to 20%, in 2021. He also describes the considerable bargaining power that our industry has regarding material cost.

Smart Is Not A Binary Concept
Published April 21

For all the talk about “smart” technology and processes, there’s still a lot of confusion about exactly what the term entails. Michael Ford comes to the rescue with this column that describes what “smart” is and what it is not. He provides a smart process IQ test to measure the intelligence of smart technologies, starting with the smartphone and continuing up through industry processes such as IPC-CFX.

 

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Benchmarking Your Process Engineering

04/29/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Mark Thompson has been in bare board fabrication for over 30 years. He is now laying out printed circuit boards at Monsoon Solutions, a high-tech design bureau near Seattle, Washington. With Mark’s extensive hands-on knowledge of PCB manufacturing, he brings a unique perspective to PCB design. In this discussion with the I-Connect007 editorial team, Mark shares what’s important from a process engineer’s point of view, and how to stay on top of evaluating and benchmarking your manufacturing process, along with insights from his new role as a designer.

Isola Releases IS550H Material

04/26/2021 | Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Nolan Johnson speaks with Michael Gay of Isola and Chris Hunrath of Insulectro about the release of their new halogen-free, high-thermal reliability material, which they hope fills the gap in the market between epoxies and polyimides.

EIPC Technical Snapshot: Supply Chain and Material Price Pressures

04/26/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
EIPC’s seventh Technical Snapshot webinar on April 14 was timely and appropriate. In the context of current supply chain issues and material price pressures facing the PCB industry, particularly in Europe, the EIPC team brought together an outstanding group of experts—each a leading authority in his field—to analyse and comment upon the areas of concern and to respond to questions raised by a capacity audience. As Alun Morgan said, “If you don’t use the European supply chain, you won’t have it anymore!”



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