AltiumLive 2020
AltiumLive 2020

Industry Keynote: How Other Companies Implement Their Hardware Design Process

Is there a way to make the hardware design process easier in your company? How do other companies do hardware design? How do they create and manage libraries? How do engineers work together? How can they be sure that all documents are checked and correct? What about backups and project versioning? These are some of the questions that Robert asked engineers around the world working in a wide variety of companies--from the biggest technological giants to small engineering teams. His purpose was to gather answers and information that can help you optimize the hardware design flow in your company.

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Industry Keynote: Breaking Bad: A Downside of Open Source Designs

Just because a design “works” does not mean it is a good design, worthy of its features replicated in other products. Often, designs published on the web work in spite of their bad design features, not because of them. We’ll use the Arduino Uno board as an example of how not to design a 2-layer board. I’ll show you the best design practices to use and how the common Arduino boards violate most of them. We’ll do some live measurements and compare a commercial board and the same design done right.

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Industry Keynote: Moving from Prototype to Production with Arduino: Effortless Design Provided by Altium and Microchip

As more product proof of concept starts with Arduino based systems, moving from these systems to production does not mean starting over. There are core similarities in hardware design that allow the hardware design to move rapidly to a production-ready level by taking advantage of the existing database of hardware designs. I will address the core elements of an Arduino based HW system, what can be removed, what can be optimized, and what needs to be considered in scalable design. As Arduino moves to more production-friendly designs and procedures, it’s important to present the entire range of options available from prototype to production.

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Industry Keynote: When Hacking and Engineering Collide

My life has been shaped by hacking and engineering. If you're here at AltiumLive, it's possible that yours has, too.

Growing up behind the keyboard of an Atari 400, spending countless hours on bulletin board systems, and building electronic projects from magazine how-to columns, I was lucky to discover my passion early on. When other kids talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up, it was a firefighter, police officer, or astronaut. I wanted to be an engineer. But, while I thought like an engineer, I questioned the world like a hacker. I realized the importance of sharing information in order to empower others, staying true to what I believed in, and remaining constantly curious.

In this session, I'll detail some of my favorite projects, including mischievous gadgets, crazy contraptions built for television, and mash-ups of technology that don't always make sense. I'll also share tips from my design process and, for the first time in public, profess my love for ferric chloride.

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Keynote Presentation: Holistic Product Design for Electrical Engineers

“HOLISTIC” DEFINITION (PHILOSOPHY):

Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

When it comes to modern product design, testing, and manufacturing, the work of electrical engineers is inextricably linked to the design of the system as a whole. By understanding the manufacturing and test processes that your boards/flexes will be subjected to, you can make early design decisions that will reduce cost, complexity, and yield problems. Jeremy, an electrical engineer and system architect, will explain the hands-on approach he takes to board-level testing and full system functional testing. He will explain a variety of design and documentation techniques, based on an understanding of manufacturing and testing flows, that will help you get a functional product to market more efficiently.

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Keynote Presentation: PCB Trends That Will Impact YOUR Future

Times are rapidly changing. There are some trends of change that will impact printed circuit design, fabrication and assembly/test. Three of these trends will be briefly talked about in this presentation:

  •  The coming of the eSmart Factory (example of Whelen Engineering)
  • Digitization of design-the role of CAD tools for automation (INDUSTRY 4.0 and IPC-CFX)
  • How Artificial Intelligence software could affect design tools, productivity and quality

The 'crystal ball' is a little cloudy about WHEN but it's coming in YOUR future.

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Industry Keynote: What your Differential Pairs Wish You Knew

Differential Pairs have been used in PC boards for years to carry high-speed signals, in a variety of bus formats. Many Board Designers and Engineers believe the rules for differential pairs are the same in a PC board as they are in a cable or twisted pair of wires. This is NOT the case! This keynote will discuss the advantages of differential pairs, which format gives the best impedance control, what is the right spacing between lines of a pair, what’s important in differential pair routing, and how much skew is really acceptable.

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Industry Keynote: Making and Breaking the Rules

Rules can be challenging to navigate. Some can be ignored and some are of critical importance. Determining the difference can be complicated. Where have our rules come from, how do we use them now and where do we see them going in the future? Altium Designer is rule-driven, and how you drive them matters. Leveraging rules can save on board cost, improve reliability and speed up the design process. A number of rule issues and solutions will be looked at that have caused problems.  A focus on knowing and understanding design rule trade-offs should leave you better prepared to complete your next design. 

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Basic Wireless Design with RF Modules

This presentation is about how to successfully layout and use RF modules. Modularized RF sub-assemblies are a convenient way to add wireless connectivity with minimal design risk. Modules are available for many wireless standards including WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, Zigbee and proprietary protocols. This presentation is geared for newcomers to RF design and highlights good practices and how to avoid common pitfalls. A working knowledge of Altium is required to get the most out of this presentation. We will cover relevant RF theory and regulatory topics but try to avoid hard-core math and highly technical chip-down design issues. With the information in the lecture, Design Engineers should be able to add an RF module to their project with confidence and keep the risks at bay.

Outline of topics:

  • Why use a module? FCC modular approval, low NRE and quick time to market.
  • Typical module features
  • Antennas, Counterpoise and near-field obstructions
  • Module Placement
  • Ground Plane Connections
  • Managing multiple ground domains with net-ties
  • Transmission Lines
  • Controlled Impedance with Coplanar Waveguides
  • Stackup. 2-layer vs 4-layer PCBs
  • Layout Power Tools: Classes and Rules
  • EMC control; poly-pour, stitching vias, islands and necks.
  • What to expect in regulatory testing
  • Modifications and Permissive Change
  • Examples of some common mistakes
  • Examples of some good ideas
  • Wrap up and take aways.

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Extreme Makeover for your Existing Product with Altium’s Cool Features

How to give your existing product a face lift by adding a back plane with multiple PCBs without respining or changing existing PCBs. Using some of Altum's cool features, this back plane can be done in months. It will be like getting a new and improved product without spending ton of time or money. This is not your typical PCB design.

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Schematic to PCB Design: Passing the Baton Like a Champion

Max and Carl will provide insight and details from decades of combined experience on the process of going from the schematic development phase to the start of the PCB Design. They will answer questions about setting up the schematic in a way that conveys the information a board designer needs and share optimal methodologies.

They will cover several design areas that often lead to confusion where the baton gets dropped. See and learn how these design veterans go about a seamless transfer of design intent. They will pass on best practices and methods used for an accurate pass of the schematic to give the designer a running start.

This promises to be a lively discussion of the topic that will leave you better prepared to run a fast race while enabling a smooth pass of the baton.

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Mastering the TDR in 45 Minutes

The workhorse instrument used to characterize all PCB traces is the Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR). Its measurements are often misinterpreted because the impedance properties of transmission lines are confusing. In this brief session, I will show you the right way to think about signals on transmission lines and how to interpret TDR results. Using live measurements, we’ll look at some cool examples of the properties of real circuit board traces.

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Flex and Rigid Flex: Real World Use Case Studies

Learn how to effectively manage board-to-board connectivity and overcome challenges in system level multi-board design to create electronics that drive the future of technology.

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Lost in Translation: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Data Exchange Universe

From design concept to capturing the schematic, doing the layout and creating the various output formats, data is handed from man to machine and back. During this process data is transformed and manipulated by many process inside and out of the CAD tool. These manipulations can be problematic if the input data is not properly formatted and sanitized. This presentation takes a look of all the possible traps your data can fall into and how to mitigate the risk. Learn how to eliminate those friday night late calls from a manufacturer because his systems can't cope with your number format, file terminators, part names or other oddities. Avoid debugging issues like discovering your 10 milliohm resistor magically turned into 10 MegaOhm. Mesh your data with many different systems.

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The New Era of Software-Enabled Manufacturing

Designing electronics requires engineers and designers to operate within certain limitations on available components, material types, equipment capabilities, board fabrication, and PCBA (printed circuit board assembly) manufacturing methods. Driven by aggressive deployment and production cycles, avionics engineers developing PCBs for critical systems need the ability rapidly iterate on their designs.

This presentation will inform engineers, manufacturers, and others involved in the aerospace industry about model-based printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) manufacturing and how automated PCBA manufacturing helps engineers to drastically reduce production time and bring their innovations to market more quickly.

It will also offer insight into the weaknesses of traditional manufacturing and how they slow down the design-build-test process for electrical and avionics engineers, stifling their ability to innovate. The presentation will detail the benefits of software-powered electronics manufacturing, including its ability to accelerate the PCBA prototyping phase of the design-build-test cycle and provide engineers with rich feedback that allows them to continuously improve their designs and turn their concepts into prototypes in a matter of days.

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Creating Great Documentation with Draftsman

Learn how to create detailed fabrication and assembly drawings using all of the unique features of Draftsman, including how to create a company title block template for clean, professional drawings.

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5 Ways to Improve your Power Electronics Design using Altium Designer

Power Electronics is hard. High voltage, high current, high switching speeds - it can lead to countless headaches if you don't know what you're doing. A well-designed PCB will provide the best efficiency and the lowest noise possible. On the other hand, poor PCB layout design can present EMI issues, component stress, and ultimately "let out the magic smoke". This presentation will go over 5 ways to better design your power electronics circuits using Altium.

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Developing an Intelligent Horse Monitoring Solution in Altium Designer

Developing the Trackener hardware for a horse worn monitoring solution presented a variety of challenges. In particular the combination of having cellular connectivity and requiring custom GPS and penta band cellular antennas to meet the space constraints and the unusual mechanical requirements - to withstand 500kg of horse leaning on it! The designed used a number of Altium's capabilities including mechanical integration and Power Delivery Analysis to minimize IR drops within the PCB layout to optimize efficiency. In this presentation, Richard will go through some of the design challenges that presented themselves in the course of the design of the hardware design of the horse monitor. 

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Tips and Tricks using xSignals and Pin Length in High-Speed Designs

An overview of some tips and tricks and potential pitfalls we used and encountered when successfully designing a first-time right DDR 3/4 design using xSignals. Pin Length tuning and some general design techniques. These techniques can be used for any high speed interface where impedance, length tuning and signal integrity is important. 

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Unleash the Power and Potential of Altium’s Design Rule Capabilities

Learn some unique tips and tricks in Altium that will save you time and enhance your design skills. Some of the topics covered will include: Effective design rules can give you a polished, quality design. Ineffective or missing rules can leave your PCB design vulnerable to serious defects. While proper syntax and hierarchy can be complicated and challenging, we will discuss some of the most useful design rules and how to make them portable and adaptable to every design that you create. We will also announce exciting enhancements coming in our next Altium Designer release.

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Intelligent Feedback Systems and Designing with Machine Learning in Mind

Considerations when designing intelligent subsystems with inference libraries and machine learning sub-processing in product design through Altium. 

Schematic to PCB Design: Passing the Baton Like a Champion

Max and Carl will provide insight and details from decades of combined experience on the process of going from the schematic development phase to the start of the PCB Design. They will answer questions about setting up the schematic in a way that conveys the information a board designer needs and share optimal methodologies.

They will cover several design areas that often lead to confusion where the baton gets dropped. See and learn how these design veterans go about a seamless transfer of design intent. They will pass on best practices and methods used for an accurate pass of the schematic to give the designer a running start.

This promises to be a lively discussion of the topic that will leave you better prepared to run a fast race while enabling a smooth pass of the baton.

Watch the Presentation

Design for Excellence from a Manufacturers' Standpoint

Hardware development including calculation, electrical simulation, design, optimization and production-related simulations is a very complex topic. It requires a well-defined design process cycle as well as a stable approval process to generate “clean” manufacturing data. This enables a production without significant modifications on production dataset. It is crucial that the wrong- or adapted design data does not longer influence the electrical or thermal performance. Especially for high volume serial production, a design according to design rules and a well-defined stack-up by a PCB manufacturer is required.

An Altium Designer Workflow in Real Life

Altium Designer 19 is a modern and powerful software. I will show how GPV Switzerland uses Altium Designer to create PCB Designs for our customers. This presentation will give a good overview of a common workflow to create PCB designs, generate and release data, and how to document the work. This topic is good for beginners and experienced Altium Designer users.

ECAD is IMSE Ready

The first part of the presentation introduces TactoTek injection molded structural electronics (IMSE), and its requirements for electronics design tools. The second part of the presentation highlights the Altium Designer 19 capabilities for printed and structural electronics with a real product case example.

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Interposer/MCM

Interposer and MCMs (Multi Chip Modules) are used to connect bare (e.g. silicon) dies to normal PCBs. These dies often have pad sizes below 100 µm and use wirebond or flip-chip connections. MCM substrates can be made of different materials and require special design rules. An overview of different materials and technologies will be shown. The main part focuses on how to use Altium Designer PCB editor for MCMs.

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Solve PE Problems with EM-Co-Simulation Techniques

The era of fast switching devices, especially SiC and GaN based, drives higher di/dt ramp rates, which requires a proper circuit dimensioning and application PCB layout not to become a source of radiation. The Modeling of Transmission Lines for PCBs to reduce conducted and radiated Emission and related techniques are shown as well respective device modelling approaches for increased accuracy, ending with an outlook simulating these effects for High Speed Digital links like DDR4/5 and PCIe4/5.

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Routing Digital Boards – The way signals are designed is important!

There are many ways to route a PC Board, with some being much more effective than others. The first design rule is that the board must work, so it is important to have a plan that addresses good signal quality and crosstalk control, no matter what the frequency. In this presentation, we will start with a bit of the science for routing reasoning, then discuss setting up the impedance control and the return path for the transmission lines. We will also talk about some fanout options, routing order and reasoning, routing schemes, spacing needs to avoid interference, length matching/tuning, and differential pairs. Finally, the topics discussed will be linked to practical design tips for routing digital boards in Altium Designer.

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Bridging The Divide Between ECAD-MCAD CoDesign

In our world of smaller enclosures and tighter design constraints, it is becoming increasingly important to have a quick, easy and accurate way to collaborate between ECAD and MCAD domains. File-based transfer methodologies require users to manually manage files, track changes and notify the other side when new files are ready. This manual process is sub-optimal, time-consuming, and error-prone. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how both Altium Concord Pro and PTC Creo Parametric work together to automate the ECAD/MCAD design data exchange and collaboration process utilizing a shared, centralized database for both domains. This session will enable you to improve the efficiency, productivity, and communication between the Electrical and Mechanical design teams by eliminating the inconvenient file transfers that have limited the industry for decades.

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Next Generation Materials: The Building Blocks of High Speed Design and HDI

With this presentation, attendees will learn how in the “5G-World” materials matter. From rigid laminates, copper styles and properties, flex materials, sintered paste “OrMet” for any-layer vias. All these play a part of the design, manufacturing and performance of our products. Attendees will receive a good understanding of basic EM Theory with a strong emphasis placed on material selection from Altium toolset. This will cover aspects affecting interconnections and their respective EM fields. The design flow is from the start of the layout cycle, all the way to the generation of deliverables and then into manufacturing. Emphasis is on the role that materials play to make your circuit cost-effective, perform well and be a reliable high-yield product. We will touch on all types of circuit technologies in many market segments.

Focus is on integration between design and manufacturing early in the development cycle, to build a product that is correct-by-construction and performs on Revision-1.

We will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • High Speed material selection for Rigid and Flex
  • Rationale for considering HDI – Solvability, Performance and Reliable
  • Manufacturability
  • Power Delivery, High Power
  • Compatible materials effecting manufacturing process and long term reliability

Students will learn what it takes to successfully implement these concerns:

  • Complex Solvability
  • High-speed, RF and Thermal Performance
  • High Yield and Reliable Manufacturability

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Software Development Techniques for PCB Design

Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) have become integral pieces in the Software Engineering workflow. These concepts and systems extend past the software domain providing practical benefits to the PCB design process. Leveraging the power of Altium Concord Pro and third party build systems, such as Jenkins or Bamboo, we are able to build complete CI/CD systems enabling teams to be more efficient and effective in their PCB design process. In this talk, we review common development problems, each component of the CI/CD process, how they translate to the PCB design world, and how we can set that up within your own company.

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Identifying and Overcoming Electronic Part Related Challenges Using Altium Designer

Undetected BOM ”surprises” such as part availability, cost, life-cycle, performance-to-datasheet, authenticity, quality and reliability can tangle projects in a web of late-cycle delays, cost escalation and even redesign. This session will discuss four practices enabled by Altium Designer that users can put in place today for additional insulation from these component related risks.

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Routing High Speed Boards in the 5G Era

With this presentation, attendees will receive many examples of how to route a board with most all the concerns of todays 5G performance challenges. Dense HS-Digital and RF concerns, Signal Integrity improvements, Shielding and Isolation to reduce Emissions.

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Bridging The Divide Between ECAD-MCAD CoDesign

In our world of smaller enclosures and tighter design constraints, it is becoming increasingly important to have a quick, easy and accurate way to collaborate between ECAD and MCAD domains. File-based transfer methodologies require users to manually manage files, track changes and notify the other side when new files are ready. This manual process is sub-optimal, time-consuming, and error-prone. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how both Altium Concord Pro and PTC Creo Parametric work together to automate the ECAD/MCAD design data exchange and collaboration process utilizing a shared, centralized database for both domains. This session will enable you to improve the efficiency, productivity, and communication between the Electrical and Mechanical design teams by eliminating the inconvenient file transfers that have limited the industry for decades.

Watch the Presentation

Identifying and Overcoming Electronic Part Related Challenges Using Altium Designer

Undetected BOM ”surprises” such as part availability, cost, life-cycle, performance-to-datasheet, authenticity, quality and reliability can tangle projects in a web of late-cycle delays, cost escalation and even redesign. This session will discuss four practices enabled by Altium Designer that users can put in place today for additional insulation from these component related risks.

Watch the Presentation

Next Generation Materials: The Building Blocks of High Speed Design and HDI

With this presentation, attendees will learn how in the “5G-World” materials matter. From rigid laminates, copper styles and properties, flex materials, sintered paste “OrMet” for any-layer vias. All these play a part of the design, manufacturing and performance of our products. Attendees will receive a good understanding of basic EM Theory with a strong emphasis placed on material selection from Altium toolset. This will cover aspects affecting interconnections and their respective EM fields. The design flow is from the start of the layout cycle, all the way to the generation of deliverables and then into manufacturing. Emphasis is on the role that materials play to make your circuit cost-effective, perform well and be a reliable high-yield product. We will touch on all types of circuit technologies in many market segments.

Focus is on integration between design and manufacturing early in the development cycle, to build a product that is correct-by-construction and performs on Revision-1.

We will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • High Speed material selection for Rigid and Flex
  • Rationale for considering HDI – Solvability, Performance and Reliable
  • Manufacturability
  • Power Delivery, High Power
  • Compatible materials effecting manufacturing process and long term reliability

Students will learn what it takes to successfully implement these concerns:

  • Complex Solvability
  • High-speed, RF and Thermal Performance
  • High Yield and Reliable Manufacturability

Watch the Presentation