Reading time ( words)
We all know the car salesman’s trick of draping a busty girl in high heels and skimpy shorts over a fancy sports car. But after you get to work in your new car, does this approach work for the next generation of EDA software? Put a slick, easy-to-install, easy-on-the-eyes application in front of a potential new user, and the time to close the sale may be less than five minutes. If a user can’t jump right into the driver’s seat and hit the accelerator, the sale is lost, regardless of the software’s horsepower. Forgive the mixed metaphors.
This isn’t news to most of us, but it is worthy of examination in the EDA world. The concept of a user interface was really only introduced with the success of Windows 95, less than 20 years ago. There had been earlier attempts, but none were as widely adopted. However, in the EDA world, the new operating system proved to be a headache for the existing vendors, because CAD software had been supported on HP-UX or Sun-Solaris for nearly 20 years. Supporting a new operating system was a resource burden.
While EDA companies struggled to upgrade to support Windows, Microsoft was taking the world by storm. I spent my sophomore year of college learning how to hand-draft drawings, but by my senior year, we were all fluent in AutoCAD. When I was recruited by Intercept, you can imagine my dismay and confusion at the clunky and nearly impossible-to-use schematic application that I tested for quality assurance. What a buzzkill. I couldn’t understand how anyone could get anything done with this software.
Read the full column here.
Editor's Note: This column originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of The PCB Design Magazine.
Zachariah Peterson, NWES
As I look back on 2022, I’m realizing that my company plays multiple roles in client projects beyond just designing circuits and PCBs. Sure, we’re primarily a PCB design company, but we also help with things that happen outside the PCB. This includes tasks like enclosure design, defining mechanical constraints, simulating electrical behavior, mating boards into larger assemblies, selecting cabling, and defining test requirements, all of which slowly creep into the standard scope of work for design projects.
Nolan Johnson, I-Connect007
Nolan Johnson checks in with Polar’s Martyn Gaudion on the evolving needs of global PCB manufacturing markets in a post-pandemic world, where generating accurate PCB specification documentation is essential to successfully navigating today's rampant supply chain constraints. Polar has positioned itself to meet these needs through agile software product developments that allow OEMs and fabricators to simulate material interactions and end-product specifications, including in-demand features like a comprehensive "structure view" that allows users to visualize all the transmission lines on a given a PCB. Though keeping pace with the demands of a rapidly growing industry has been challenging, Polar's commitment to innovation has kept its software suite ahead of the curve.
Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
This week’s picks include a little of everything. We have an interview with the founder of Avishtech, a new EDA software company that has a spin on field solvers and stackup tools. We also have an interview with Mike Carano, who discusses the need for mentors. Then, there’s news about partnership between Koh Young and Mentor, and an iNEMI "best practices" guide for disinfecting your facility. Finally, we've compiled all of the "Just Ask Happy" entries into a single document for your viewing pleasure. Happy Friday!