Libraries: A Must-have for Design

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Last month, I-Connect007 was invited to attend a session of the Orange County Chapter of the IPC Designers Council (DC). Even though I have been an IPC member for over half a century (yes, almost since vacuum tubes dominated design), this was my first DC event.

The Orange County Chapter is the largest IPC DC in the U.S. They have a very active group of 50–70 PCB designers, associates, and other experts attend these regularly scheduled “lunch ‘n learn” events. Everyone in attendance gets the chance to have lunch together; talk about the industry, the economy, and even politics; and hear outstanding speakers make educational presentations on a wide variety of PCB-related topics. The few hours spent by those in attendance was quite valuable, including meeting with colleagues and building or renewing relationships. Many locals who attended could still get back to the office afterward.

Primarily designers were at this event but there were also others in the industry, including suppliers. It has been my opinion for quite some time that increased discourse between suppliers and designers is a major plus for the industry. In the past, designers would sometimes wish for a product to meet their needs, and suppliers might have a product that had not been commercialized due to their not realizing that it might be needed by those designing the next generation of devices.

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Scott McCurdy

The meeting started with an introduction by Scott McCurdy, the president of the Orange County Chapter of the IPC DC and the director of sales and marketing for Freedom CAD Services Inc. He provided an update on the council’s activities and previewed the day’s presentations as well as thanked the various industry organizations and press for their support.

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Natasha Baker

This meeting included two excellent presentations. The first one was by Natasha Baker, the founder and CEO of SnapEDA, who gave a very informative presentation on the mistakes even the best engineers make as well as how and why to build better libraries. Without stating it directly, she clearly showed the high value of SnapEDA library available to circuit designers and used etfby over one million engineers.

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Terri Kleekamp

The second presentation, which was also interesting and providing valuable information for designers, was by Terri Kleekamp of Mentor, a Siemens Business, titled "Practices for ECAD Library Development."

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Mentor presentation

After the event, Natasha Baker was kind enough to sit down for an interview. I caught up with her to discuss the importance of libraries in design, current best practices, and how SnapEDA is enabling a new generation of engineers to bring their ideas to life more quickly and efficiently.

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Overall, if you are involved with the design segment in any way and have not done so, find out where the nearest IPC Designers Council meets near you and seriously consider attending one of these sessions.

Dan Feinberg: I’m at the IPC Orange County Designers Council session with Natasha Baker from SnapEDA. You gave a very interesting and informative presentation to the group. What does the “EDA” in SnapEDA stand for?

Natasha Baker: Hi, Dan. EDA stands for electronic design automation. It’s a term coined in the 1980s, which encapsulates both computer-aided design (CAD)—which originally referred to PCB layout in the electronics industry—and computer-aided engineering (CAE)—which referred to the front-end design (schematic capture and simulation).

Feinberg: That’s a great name, and I love your logo.

Baker: Thank you.


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