The best in 2020 PCB design

By David Wiens |  No Comments  |  Posted: December 18, 2020
Topics/Categories: PCB - Design Integrity, Layout & Routing, - PCB Topics, PCB - System Codesign  |  Tags: , ,  | Organizations: , ,

The PCB Technology Leadership Awards is the longest running PCB design contest of its kindThe PCB Technology Leadership Awards began in 1988 is the longest running PCB design contest of its kind. The competition is organized by Mentor, a Siemens business.

Mentor, a Siemens Business, has just announced that a team from Infinera (working with Jabil) out of Finland is the winner of Best Overall Design in its annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards. The team used Mentor’s Xpedition Enterprise in its design flow.

Infinera’s design was a L2/L3 router for disaggregated networks, and was submitted in the Telecom, Network Controllers, Line Cards category. Challenges the team had to overcome included signal integrity, power integrity, cost, fabrication, assembly, test and reliability; high-density, high-speed; multi-board constraints; ECAD/MCAD alignment; and multi-discipline concurrent design.

Figure 1. The Infinera team's TLA winning PCB design (Mentor/Infiniera

Figure 1. The Infinera team’s TLA-winning PCB design (Infinera/Mentor – click to inspect)

Here are some of the judging panel’s comments on the resulting design:

  • “This particular design was amazing.  The first thing that jumps out at me is its odd shape.  That in itself poses a challenge in routing when you use a shape like this. With the unique mechanical constraint of this board, many of the high speed signals had to work their way around some of these odd angles to go to the I/O off the board.”
  • “This design is a combination of off-the-shelf parts as well as some in-house developed PCB assemblies, which required extensive use of 3D modeling and ECAD MCAD collaboration. That poses a lot of challenges, especially when you have so many diverse complex components and connectors.”
  • “This was an amazing PCB, and definitely a worthy winner. This design combined everything in terms of the routing, in terms of the placement – a sort of crafted spread. It had a very impressive balanced stack, optimized for signal integrity, optimized to minimize EMC, and optimized for power distribution. Very complex, very dense.”
  • “This team deserves recognition for overcoming some of the most complex challenges that face PCB design teams.”

Having started in 1988, the PCB Technology Leadership Awards is the longest running PCB design contest of its kind. Each year, an independent panel of industry-expert reviews and judges submissions from design teams all over the world who use Mentor/Siemens solutions.

The industry judges pick winners in several categories, including:

  • Computers, blade and servers, memory systems
  • Consumer electronics, handheld
  • Industrial control, instrumentation, security, medical
  • Military, aerospace
  • Telecom, network controllers, line cards
  • Transportation, automotive
  • Significant contenders
  • Overall winner

To read about all of the winners and learn more about designs that are defining the leading edge of the electronics industry, watch this webinar: 28th PCB Technology Leadership Award Winners. Further information is  available on the TLA website.

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