The Route
The Digital Route: From EMI to RF
The latest reports from the local chapters.
We’re onto the second half of the year now, and we’ve seen a lot of activities within our local Designers Council (DC) Chapters, including a few international chapters. It’s great to see and hear about the continued activities from professional development to knowledge sharing and networking taking place at various industry events. Here is a snapshot of what has taken place so far from several of our active chapters.

If you are involved in discussions about industry content regarding PCB design, fabrication or assembly, whether it is in a small or large group, but you are not part of IPC, then I highly recommend you contact me so I can assist you in joining the IPC collective. It’s free and well worth it! And if you are an industry veteran with much experience, yet not active in IPC, or simply a college student starting your career, this is a great group to join and get plugged in. I hope to hear from those who are not part of IPC, especially within a DC chapter.

Silicon Valley Chapter
Chapter leader: Bob McCreight
Around 32 people attended our third quarter meeting on Jul. 25. Many thanks to Altium, Amazon, and the guest speakers. To start the meeting, we were treated to a nice greeting from Umar Shah and Charles Rusch from Amazon Lab126. Then we went around the room, and each attendee introduced themselves. It was nice to put faces with names. Stephen Golemme followed with a quick presentation about the IPC-2231 standards committee. Next, Judy Warner talked about AltiumLive 2019 and her OnTrack podcast.

The feature presentation by Vincent Himpe of Tesla was well received and sparked some lively discussion. His talk, What’s in a Name: Making Sure There Is No Ambiguity When Exchanging Data, explored several key items. He touched on schematic symbols, reference designators, footprints, net names, component values and file names.

Our next meeting will be Oct. 24 in San Jose. Zuken will host, and PalPilot will sponsor lunch.

Scott Nuance from Optimum Design Associates will present Best Practices for RF and Mixed Technology PCB Design. I will set up the invitation in a few weeks, so for now, save the date.

Cascade Chapter (Seattle)
Chapter leader: Tim Mullin
In addition to my role as the Cascade Chapter president, other board members include Paul Brendt (VP), Jerome Larez (treasurer), Aubrey Moore (secretary), Cherie Litson (education chairperson) and Cory Grunwald (webmaster).

Held at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology, we had our first quarter meeting in April. Aerotek sponsored dinner, and speakers included Cherie Litson, Tim Mullin, and Jerome Larez. The roundtable discussion covered three topics: cutting-edge technologies, IPC standards, and materials and processes. Held in June, Mentor was the dinner sponsor for the second quarter meeting, and the guest speaker was Robert Hanson, who discussed Achieving Signal Integrity and Meeting EMI Radiation Requirements.

The speakers and topics are still to be determined, but our third quarter meeting will be held on Sept. 18, and the fourth quarter meeting will be Dec. 4, both at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Mark your calendars!

Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter
Chapter leader: Tony Cosentino
The Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter supports the Raleigh-Durham (NC) area. We held our first meeting at the end of January, including an election for the new slate of leaders: myself as president, Randy Faucette (VP), Steve Trasatto (treasurer), Ian Jackson (secretary), and Lance Olive (membership). Hosted by Protolabs in Morrisville, NC, the guest speaker was Eric Utley, applications engineer at Protolabs, who spoke on 3D Printing: Beyond Prototyping. The 24 attendees also toured the Protolabs facility.

Our March meeting included 20 attendees and was hosted by CertifiGroup in Cary, North Carolina. Josh Hunt, field service manager at CertifiGroup, addressed Environmental Testing for Reliability of Products and Components. There was also a site tour of the CertifiGroup facility.

In June, there were 25 attendees. Ian Jackson, the elected secretary, dropped out of office due to workload issues, and the position is open and being backfilled by Steve Trasatto, the current treasurer. Hosted by Ixia, a Keysight Business, in Morrisville, guest speakers Shruthi Soora and Dr. Mike Barts from the Wireless Research Center addressed PCB Antenna Considerations from Concept to Certification.

July and August served as a summer break for the chapter, and the date and details for the September meeting will be announced soon. In addition, PCB Carolina 2019 is approaching and will be held Nov. 13 at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. It’s free to all attendees and includes a keynote and 16 technical sessions.

San Diego Chapter
Chapter Leader: Luke Hausherr
Our last meeting was held at the Del Mar Electronics show with around 35 attendees. Altium paid for everybody’s lunch. I made my debut as the new chapter president since Bob Griffith has retired. I gave a short speech thanking the community for their support and explained my objectives to increase membership. John Carney from Cadence is now the secretary, and Judy Warner from Altium joins the team as education chair.

Gerry Partida, director of engineering for Summit Interconnect in Anaheim, spoke on CAD to PCB: Your Data and What I Actually Do with It. His presentation provided a great overview in understanding the input and data review process of your design data in frontend engineering departments at PCB fabrication companies. We then had a raffle in which we gave away a bunch of vendor- and chapter-sponsored items.

Our next meeting will be held at San Diego PCB in September. Jeffrey Jenkins, PCB chief technologist at L3 Communications, will give a presentation about conformal coating: what it is and why to use it.

Orange County Chapter, CA
Chapter Leader: Scott McCurdy
We had our latest “lunch ‘n learn” chapter meeting on Jul. 18 at JT Schmid’s Restaurant banquet room in Anaheim. We had a very well-attended event with 68 designers and PCB professionals in the audience. The topic was How Fabrication Processes Determine DFM Guidelines, presented by Julie Ellis, field applications engineer at TTM Technologies. She gave a detailed look at fabrication realities to help designers understand capabilities and tradeoffs. It was very educational and generated a lot of questions from the audience.

I wish to thank Altium for sponsoring much of the lunch cost of the meeting and for providing a three-day pass to their upcoming AltiumLive event in San Diego as one of our door prizes. PCB Libraries provided a generous grand prize for a one-year cloud license of their full-featured PCB Library Expert Enterprise tool. Mentor and Freedom CAD Services also donated other raffle prizes.

International Chapters
Our international chapters continue to be very active, two of which have been showcased in recent columns. Luis Saracho leads the Monterrey Chapter, and Robert Ivan Villalba Gonzalez heads the Sonora Chapter.
IPC CID/CID+ Certification Success
by Stephen V. Chavez, MIT, CID+
We continue to have successful IPC CID and CID+ certification classes to date, resulting in many new and seasoned engineers and designers successfully achieving their certifications. Congratulations to all who have recently achieved their new IPC CDI/CDI+ certification! Welcome to the family!

In the next section, you will find the remaining training sessions, as well as upcoming PCB design events.

2019 Training and Certification Schedule
IPC Certified Interconnect Designer (CID)
  • September 19–22: Schaumburg, IL
  • October 8–11: Carmel, IN
  • October 21–24: Anaheim, CA
  • November 2–5: Raleigh, NC
  • November 5–8: Dallas, TX
IPC Advanced Certified Interconnect Designer CID+
  • September 10–13: Kirkland, WA
  • September 17–20: Schaumburg, IL
  • October 21–24: Anaheim, CA
  • November 2–5: Raleigh, NC
  • December 3–6: Manchester, NH
PCB Design Events
PCB West 2019
  • September 9–11: Santa Clara, CA
AltiumLive 2019
  • October 9–11: San Diego, CA
PCB Carolina 2019
  • November 13: Raleigh, NC
Stephen (Steph) Chavez
Stephen (Steph) Chavez
is a member of the IPC Designers Council Executive Board and chairman of the communications subcommittee; stephen@eptac.com.