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Flomerics Releases PCB Design Survey
August 14, 2006

Software simulation company Flomerics has released a new survey highlighting the conflict that often occurs between meeting thermal, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and signal integrity (SI) design requirements in the development of new PCB designs. 59% of recipients agreed that thermal and EMC requirements are usually in conflict in PCB design while only 23% disagreed. An even higher 60% agreed that thermal and signal integrity requirements are usually in conflict in PCB design while 23% disagreed.

However, the survey reveals a positive picture regarding the communication and collaboration between electronic and mechanical design engineers at most companies. 64% of respondents described communication as “good” or “very good”, 31% as “needs to improve”, and just 4% as “very poor”. 56% of respondents stated that “better software interfaces between electronic and mechanical software would greatly improve collaboration between electronic design engineers and mechanical design engineers”, while 28% said “software is not the issue – good management, human interaction, etc. are more important”.

Respondents were also asked to identify the percentage of new designs that overran time and cost budgets, and the most common causes of such overruns. Most respondents (50) said that 10-30 of new PCB designs overran time and cost budgets, while 28% said less than 10, 18 said 30-50% and 4% said more than 50. The most common causes of time and budget overruns were: design requirement changes (59); circuit design (39); thermal problems (34); EMC problems (32); signal integrity problems (30); physical layout problems (22); and routing problems (19). Note that respondents were allowed to specify more than one cause so the numbers total more than 100%.

For a copy of the complete survey, please contact Flomerics at .

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