RE: [SI-LIST] : Comments from your SI seminar (SendII)`

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From: Doug Brooks (doug@eskimo.com)
Date: Thu Oct 28 1999 - 12:42:46 PDT


At 11:00 AM 10/28/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Doug-
>
>Well put.
>
>I'd like to make a few comments:
>
>1) Is it possible, at your convenience, to post the citations for the
>Missouri/right angle corners work? Also, is anything published on your
>"effect of vias" work, a topic that really seems to elicit diveregent
>opinions?

It is NOT my intent to open up these topics again!!!! And I WILL NOT enter
into those discussions again in this forum. But.....
My articles appeared in PCB Design Magazine and reprints are probably
available from Ronda (rfaries@mfi.com). They are also available on our web
site
http://www.ultracad.com
I don't have a citation for Mark Montrose's article, but it appeared in
some IEEE venue. Perhaps he will respond here.

>
>2) Do you see a large gap between nominal theory presented in "typical"
>Univerity courses [BS level?; MS level?] and material presented in
>Conference short courses, tutorials, etc.? Perhaps schools present material
>too far removed from real world apps and hardware [boards], while Industry
>tutorials may skim the surface of SI cause/effects, but cover quite well
>actual Industry cases & fixes familiar to that instructor/consultant?
>
>>From my perspective, if I don't have a short course instructor's
>background/experience/advanced degree, I'm liable to pick up rules of thumb,
>and quickly get into trouble misapplying them, due to a lack of deeper
>understanding. Most of us with mechanical engr degrees, and I suspect many
>"Digital centric" EE's, probably get into the same predicament!
>
>It makes me wonder, what is the best way to gain deeper understanding, given
>finite resources of time and money? Picking this up solely through exposure
>to forums [like SI-List], short courses and mag articles only gets you so
>far. It's something I still struggle with!
>
>Regards,
>
>Michael Alderete
>Aerojet [So. Calif.]

In general, universities do a reasonable job teaching theory (at least at
the graduate level) but not much of a job teaching practical issues. This
is especially true at the board design level. Very few schools have any
courses at all that focus at the board level. Many of the faculty people I
have talked with have never considered the kinds of issues designers face.
And few people AT ALL understand the black magic associated with EMI!

Then, many in the design industry came up the mechanical engineering route,
or no engineering route at all --- although this is changing. Most of the
designers I have worked with have no formal engineering training.

So, where do we get the training? IPC, IEEE, and PC Design Magazine (Miller
Freeman) through their articles and conferences make an honest effort to
provide training. Where do THEIR resources come from? People like us!! Who
we already indicated may be (not in my case, of course!) part of the problem!

Here comes the commercial --- don't read any further if that offends you.

I have created a seminar titled Electrical Engineering for the Non-Degreed
Engineer that has been given twice now at the PCB Design Conference. I
wanted to title it "EE for the Engineer Who Didn't Get It The First Time"
--- but Pete didn't like that!! To be honest, I am not totally comfortable
with the course because I fear it goes over the head of some people, but is
too basic for others. It's a hard target to hit. But the problem is --- how
do you communicate topics like bypass cap resonant frequencies, resonant
poles and zeros, transmission line impedances, current and voltage
reflections, electromagnet coupling, capacitive and inductive (crosstalk)
coupling, etc., to people who have a shakey grasp of what a capacitor is
and does, and even less of a grasp of inductance? It's a tough challenge.

I believe companies should should offer more in-house training. Either
through their own internal resources or through (here goes) consultants
like us who have put some time into trying to figure out how to communicate
these issues to others. There are several of us available to come to firms
to put on seminars, and they can be better directed to specific needs if
they are done on location rather than in a general seminar environment.

Who can do these? Look at who already does them.
Doug Brooks (me)
Rick Hartley
Lee Hill (I think)
Lee Ritchey
and of course, the giant in our industry, Howie Johnson

What really needs to happen, then, is for COMPANIES to more seriously
address this issue from the inside and bring in some outside resources to
help.

And --- one more commercial --- I will have my seminar available in book
form for purchase from our web site before year end. Watch for the
announcement on the web site.

Doug Brooks

.
****************************************************
Doug Brooks, President doug@eskimo.com
UltraCAD Design, Inc. http://www.ultracad.com

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