Ontrack With Judy Warner



The PCB Design Podcast


  • OnTrack Podcast 2022 Year in Review

    27/12/2022 Duration: 10min

    Join us as we reflect on the best moments and the coolest guests we've had on the OnTrack podcast this year. 2012 has been a whirlwind year for the electronics industry–chip shortages, and a supply chain crunch. Altium has passed several milestones, as well as releasing an education program. And there have been some groundbreaking reports from industry groups highlighting the need for workforce training and development, and workforce shortages coming on the horizon. Watch the episode here Claim the special offer for Podcast listeners only Show Highlights: One of Altium’s Milestone is the Altium Education Program In most of the episodes, the issue of automotive chips shortage comes up coupled with the passing of the PCB Act PCB Packaging, and production of integrated circuit substrates  Most requested repeat guests and new faces Links and Resources: Watch all the OnTrack Podcast Episode Register at Altium Education for Free Connect with Zach on LinkedIn Visit Nexar website Visit Octopart website Claim the sp

  • Chemical Processing in PCB Manufacturing

    13/12/2022 Duration: 38min

    Young blood in the PCB industry, Christopher Bonsell talks about process engineering–the chemical involved in the PCB, etching and encouraging the young generation to the “cool-tech” aspects of PCB design and manufacturing. Watch this episode through the end, and check the show notes and additional below. Watch this episode here Show Highlights: Chris Bonsell published articles on i-Connect007 What kind of services does Chemcut offer related to PCB manufacturing and the role of a process engineer Chris talks about his career journey and how he landed his position in Chemcut Misconception about the circuit board industry, does it belong to tech industry? The grand challenge – the Moorse Law What is the Peri Etch Process? The lack of interest in the chemistry of circuit boards might be what’s blocking the PCB industry from moving to the next level of processing capability The US is 20 years behind in the PCB industry Is fully additive circuit board could be the big game changer in the industry? Workforce shorta

  • The Challenging Role of a Process Engineer

    29/11/2022 Duration: 29min

    Let’s take a glimpse into a life of a young process engineer. In this episode, our guest Paige Fiet talks about her career path in the world of PCB manufacturing. She will also share how she landed her role as the Student Liaison in the IPC. Watch this episode through the end or listen on the go. We hope to inspire young engineers to become more motivated to jump into the PCB industry. Show Highlights: Paige shares her story and her exciting career path before she landed her role as a process engineer at TTM Technologies Zach and Paige exchange college experiences, they talk about the courses and curriculum then and now Paige briefly talks about her experience in getting the role of the IPC Student Liaison She also talks about how interested engineers can become involved in the IPC and encourage them to invest in a membership and attend other industry-related trade shows and conferences Participating in committees can be a rewarding and fun experience Paige had her eyes on TTM from the very beginning. She s

  • Multi-board and Harness Design Capability in Altium Designer 23

    15/11/2022 Duration: 23min

    It’s that time again to have Altium’s VP of Marketing, Lawrence Romine, the bearer of good news when it comes to Altium Designer’s latest features. We will discuss what’s coming in Altium Designer 23 which includes multi-board and harness design capabilities. You don’t want to miss this one. Watch through the end and be sure to check the show notes and additional resources below. Watch this episode here Show Highlights Altium Designer®’s regular and reliable updates are incomparable in the industry, stay on top of the monthly updates through the OnTrack newsletter There are 3 major themes to come in Altium Designer 2023Multi-board systems and harness design – empower PCB designers and electrical engineers to design harnesses Collaboration and teamwork Make Altium Designer a necessity for every PCB designer – the world's greatest and most elegant design experience Code Designer, coming soon – the ability to work natively in Altium Designer and in Mcad tool of choice Multi-board and harness design capability,

  • Materials Science and Manufacturing of Better PCB

    02/11/2022 Duration: 44min

    Materials Science and how this can level up your PCB manufacturability. In this episode, our guest Geoffrey Leeds the product manager at Insulectro talks about how material science can help solve the unique manufacturing challenges fabricators are dealing with HDI designs. Listen through the end and check the additional resources below. Watch this episode here Show Highlights:   Geoffrey Leed’s role as a product manager at Insulectro, a material science distributor What is material science and how does it relates to PCB manufacturing Ultra HDI designs present unique manufacturing challenges to PCB fabricators How are your material choices impacting your design performance? Geoffrey explains why having lower CTE materials could be a double-edged sword Perfect is the enemy of good enough! You must accept some level of tolerance when your product moves into production and goes out into the real world, It can be the material tolerance or the electrical performance The PCB industry has been walking in the packagin

  • JITX, a Way for Hardware Engineers to Write Codes

    26/10/2022 Duration: 45min

    This is a very interesting episode, especially for hardware engineers. Duncan Haldane, the CEO, and co-founder of JITX joins us to share a very interesting approach to PCB design. JITX is a way for hardware engineers to write code to design circuit boards. I know you are excited to hear more! Watch this episode or listen on the go. Be sure to check out the show notes and additional resources below. Watch this episode here Show Highlights: Duncan talks about the Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and the general availability of JITX as an actual product. Duncan's path to engineering started in robotics How can an electrical engineer benefit from JITX? Duncan explained in detail JITX is very well integrated with Altium, it works natively with the existing designs and libraries  Hardware-generated code transforms the job of an engineer a little bit so that they don't have to manually look through all of the different specs for every component that they need JITX is a Nexar partner and uses Octoparts data, in

  • Supply Chain Strategy for PCB Designer

    19/10/2022 Duration: 53min

    Electronic parts shortages coupled with inflation has been affecting the electronic industry globally. Chris Cain our guest for today’s episode is a supply chain consultant and former VP at Keysight working on supply chain and supply chain products. Chris will share with us his 37 years of experience and strategies to overcome electronic part shortages. Watch this episode here Show Higlights: Chris Cain briefly describes what supply management is, and his role as a consultant. Chris explains what it means to tap into the “scale for the larger ecosystem” of electronic providers Find alternatives and make some design adjustments where is possible Look for parts that are very scalable like memory parts and FPGAs Modular approach or designing for modules may also allow designers to have some flexibility If you can't get the parts, you can't ship your working design–having an insight into what’s coming in the supply chain could help designers in their decision making It pays to spend a little time keeping up wit

  • Streamlining Product Development Process for Successful Product Launch

    13/10/2022 Duration: 39min

    Ben Nibali, founder and President of Aptus Design Works, with Connor Richardson, the Electrical Designer, are our guests in this episode. We will discuss how you can plan the cost and lead times to successfully launch your product in the market. Ben and Connor share some excellent advice for designers and companies to streamline their product development process from prototyping to manufacturing.   Show Highlights: Aptus is a design and engineering company, and they’ve been around for about 15 years They handle initial concept development, mechanical development, controls, and mechanical prototyping and help their clients through the launching and manufacturing of their products Expecting and avoiding pitfalls comes with experience; in addition, working with trusted vendors and suppliers is huge when honoring set schedules or timeline The natural state of every project is over budget and behind schedule. Ben Nibali stresses the importance of effort and discipline to have complete control of the process  and

  • Overcoming Technological Challenges in the PCB Industry

    04/10/2022 Duration: 37min

    Matt Kelly is the  Chief Technologist at IPC. In this episode we will discuss all about the technological challenges the industry is facing. Matt will help us understand the “ecosystem” involving the semiconductor industry, advanced packaging, and IC substrates. Watch this episode here OR listen on the go! Check the show notes and additional resources below. Show Highlights: Matt Kelly’s role as the Chief Technologist at IPC The Moore's Law is continuing, but it is economically becoming difficult to maintain, this has become the driving force behind heterogeneous integration  What does the CHIPS Act really mean for manufacturers? Production of semiconductors is an expensive business–one fabrication infrastructure can cost an average of 20 billion dollars Matt stresses the need in the industry to use, and understand the “ecosystem” involving the semiconductor industry, advanced packaging, and IC substrates The US has a 20-year market leader, knowhow gap, weak sub-tier supply, skilled workforce shortage, and l

  • Pros and Cons of Advanced Electronic Packaging for PCB Designers

    28/09/2022 Duration: 39min

    Our guest Phil Marcoux is very well-known in the advanced electronic packaging community and currently working as a business mentor in the electronics industry.  Phil is labeled as the father of SMT by the IPC. He is a Charter member of SMT Council, granted the IPC President's Award, past owner of over 40 integrated circuit packaging and camera module-related patents, and consultant on numerous heterogeneous designs and standards, just to name a few of his excellent achievements. Today we will tackle the pros and cons of heterogeneous electronic assemblies and what we can do as an industry to move forward with it. Show Highlights: Learn about Phil Marcoux and his upcoming panel discussion at PCB West  The panel will discuss “How Heterogeneous Integration Affects the PCB Industry.” Phil is looking forward to promoting PCEA and the need to embrace education PCB designers must recognize what compromises they will have to make to utilize that chiplet One of the challenges is to encourage companies to work toget

  • Cutting Edge Technology in Packaging with an Interposer

    21/09/2022 Duration: 55min

    In this episode, our guest Joe Dickson, tells us about the cutting-edge technology implemented in advanced packaging at Wus Printed Circuit International.   Watch the episode here Show Highlights: Joe Dickson talks about what they do at Wus, a printed circuit manufacturing company He shares about their efforts to bring PCB technologies farther up by introducing advanced packaging options He briefly describes what printed circuit-like materials are, also known as the vertical interposers or PCIe Zach explains how a pre-packaged chip can be mounted on a board What are the reliability and signal integrity challenges that come with assembling different packages on a board Off-the-board solutions start to become more and more desirable  The flexibility of design and components is what driving the market to use more integrated packaging Speed is everything! When will the industry move on from copper and go to optical?  Knowing what's going on in simulations is very important; it opens opportunities to try new t

  • Better Performance and Enhanced Reliability in the Automotive Electronics industry

    14/09/2022 Duration: 40min

    Performance and reliability are big in the automotive industry, especially now that electronically powered and automated vehicles are starting to become more popular. In this episode, we will learn so much about automotive electronics and the reliability of electronics systems that goes in the vehicle. Our guest Lenora Clark, the director of autonomous driving and safety technology at ESI automotive will share with us the importance of material choices for your PCB can affect the reliability and performance of your vehicle’s system design. Show Highlights: Lenora is Chemist by education. She joined MacDermid, now MacDermid Alpha Electronic Solutions, as a bench top chemist, developing chemicals for PCB manufacturersHer focus was on surface finishing helping PCB fabricator improve their process from a chemical standpoint to enhance the performance and reliability of PCBs From working with surface finishing, she worked her way up and became the project manager, product line director for surface finishing, and l

  • Electronics Manufacturability and Reliability with QA Guru Cheryl Tulkoff

    07/09/2022 Duration: 51min

    Let’s talk about Electronics reliability with the QA guru Cheryl Tulkoff. In this episode Cheryl and I will talk about risk assessment, planning for not only success but also a failure, and understanding the difference between quality and reliability. This discussion is going to be very informative for every PCB designer who wants to get ahead of their game. Watch through the end, and make sure to check the additional resources below. Watch this episode here Show Highlights: Cheryl shares her rewarding career experience in the electronics industry She worked at IBM where she was immersed in electronic manufacturing from beginning to end She also worked at DfR Solutions and National Instruments where she learned all the skills and knowledge in electronics manufacturability, quality & reliability consulting To produce a successful electronic product it is important to have the awareness to resolve every problem, from the chip level, board level, system level, and the environment level Cheryl explains why

  • How to Select the Best Surface Finish for Your PCB

    31/08/2022 Duration: 47min

    You would not want to miss this informative, knowledge-packed conversation with Dr. Kunal Shah. Dr, Kunal generously gives us all a crash course on surface finishes and understanding different types of materials that could affect signal integrity, reliability and electronic shelf life. He will also tackle in detail the pros and cons of various types of nickel-free finishes. Watch this podcast episode now or listen on the go. Make sure to check the notes and additional resources below. Show Highlights: PCB Designers must be knowledgeable of various manufacturing processes and materials One of the things that makes liloTree unique is its innovation in materials development and ensuring better and robust reliability of the electronic assembly liloTree offers eco-friendly solutions (organic surface finishes) that enhance reliability and offer better performance in terms of signal integrity Dr. Kunal shares his background and how he founded liloTree Manufacturers are trying to find alternatives for ENIG (Electro

  • What is in the PCB Bill?

    24/08/2022 Duration: 24min

    In this episode, Representative Moore, one of the co-sponsors of H.R.7677, the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, will give us brief but insightful details about the bill. Show Highlights: Representative Blake Moore explains the reasons behind the efforts to push the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022 Rep. Moore briefly touches on the topic of material sourcing and potential environmental challenges  A potential roadblock concerning raw materials is overcoming challenges coming from the energy and commerce committee What is the ideal market share for the US in the PCB manufacturing industry? The CHIPS Act and defining industrial policy Initiatives in developing a qualified workforce that can fill the new manufacturing jobs and all of the other jobs that come along with it to support the industry Sign up for the Electronic Design to Delivery Index to help guide you through supply chain turmoil Links and Resources: Sign up for the Electronic Design to Delivery Index L

  • The Promising and Challenging Future of 3D Printed Electronics

    17/08/2022 Duration: 38min

    The business development manager of J.A.M.E.S., Alexandre Schafer talks about the organization’s vision to push the Additively Manufactured Electronic technology to become more accessible to the industry.   Show Highlights: What is J.A.M.E.S. and how did Alexandre become involved in the organization? J.A.M.E.S (Jetted Additively Manufactured Electronic Sources) is an online community of professionals, stake holder, manufacturers who share the same vision of accelerating the AME technology Alexadre’s AHA moment was seeing a drone’s PCB created through AME process The current technology readiness level is currently between experimental and demonstration pilot phase Introducing new technology to the industry has it’s challenges: Influencing engineers’ mindset Which design tool to use? In an ideal world a tool with both ECAD and MCAD design capabilities is necessary–a fully working 3D auto router will be amazing Design standards are inexistent at the moment On another note, the lack of design standards opens

  • EMC on the Board and Off the Board

    10/08/2022 Duration: 45min

    We are very delighted to have Dr. Min Zhang in this episode. Min is an independent EMC consultant based in the UK. Today, we'll be talking about EMC, both on board and off the board. It will be a very interesting discussion because we will look a little bit deeper at the system level of the board. Show Highlights: Zach met Min at EMCLive 2021 Let’s hear more about Min’s background and his early exposure to EMI issues Earlier in his career, he worked with big companies as a motor drive engineer and power electronics design engineer for 10 years He started his engineering consulting business, Mach One Design EMC Consultants 2 years ago His first experience dealing with EMI issues was at the university while doing research for his PhD The lack of education in the university in regards to EMI issues is one of the reasons that sparked Min’s interest in EMI The university he went to specializes in motor and power converter design, but did not offer any solutions in fixing the EMI issues Min recalls being fascina

  • Mitigating Risk Factors for PCB Manufacturing Lead Times

    07/08/2022 Duration: 51min

    How to deal with nuances in PCB design and manufacturing? In today’s episode, Dave Young the owner of Young Circuits Design and founder of BlueStamp Engineering, and I will discuss mitigating risk factors early in the stage of electronic design. Dave will also tell a story about his path to entrepreneurship as an engineer and his inspiration behind founding BlueStamp Engineering, a hands-on engineering program for high school students to design and create technology projects that they get to keep, from scratch! Listen, watch enjoy, and make sure to check the additional resources below. Show Highlights: Dave’s background, and the early days of his now 12-year designing firm He learned most of his skills from his previous position as a Senior Design Engineer at Keithley Instruments The world of innovative electronic design and hardware – the software, firmware, and hardware Expectations vs. reality in manufacturing Designers must know what’s going on in PCB manufacturing, know what’s reasonable to ask your ma

  • Roughness of the Copper and its Effect on the Signal Integrity

    31/07/2022 Duration: 52min

    I am very honored to have Bert Simonovich, a very well-known expert in the signal integrity community, in today’s episode. Bert developed the "Cannonball-Huray" model used for transmission line loss modeling, which has been adopted in several popular EDA tools.   We will be discussing several topics relating to copper roughness, including different approaches to ensure signal integrity in your PCB design.   Altium 365: Where the World Designs Electronics Watch the video, click here.   Show Highlights: Bert shares his background and experience He did his microprocessor systems back in the late '70s and later worked at Bell-Northern Research in Ottawa, Canada In the 90s he transitioned to Nortel from where he specialized in backplane design and signal integrity He founded Lamsim in 2009 Bert retrospects using photo tools which is now the photo plotting with Gerbers. His experience helped him understand the mechanics of PCB construction A client’s demand led to extensive research involving dielectric material

  • Design Predictable PCBs through Simberian’s SIMBEOR® Electromagnetic Signal Integrity Software

    24/07/2022 Duration: 01h03min

    Making electromagnetic analysis accessible to anyone in the industry is what inspired Yuriy to create SIMBEOR® Electromagnetic Signal Simulator. Yuriy Shlepnev is the founder and president of Simberian. In this episode, he will tell us about Simbeor simulation capabilities, and briefly educate us on rise times, signal integrity, and solving EMI. He will also show us the simulator in action and how it can be a lifesaver to PCB designers like you. Tune in, enjoy and don't forget to check the additional resources below. Altium 365: Where the World Designs Electronics Watch the video, click here. Show Highlights: uriy talks about his background in computational electromagnetics and how he got started working on simulations for PCBs and magnetic analysis  He realized that the byte rates and data rates were increasing, and everything was getting into the microwave domain In 2006,  Simberian was founded as a project to make electromagnetic analysis accessible to anyone in the industry SIMBEOR® was created to make el

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