I-Connect007 Interviews Freedom CAD’s Scott Miller on Navigating the Unpredictable Design Marketplace

Barry Matties of I-Connect007 sits down with Freedom CAD’s COO, Scott Miller, to discuss the challenges facing Freedom CAD, designers, and the PCB design industry as a whole.  Below is a snippet, click here to read the full article in the October edition of Inside Design.

Barry Matties: Being a service company, you obviously get a chance to see a lot of different design challenges or just challenges in general from a lot of different applications. What do you think is the greatest trend or challenge that you see in design today?

Scott Miller: It’s a combination of density and power. We’re constantly being pushed to do things in tighter spaces with higher densities, higher pin counts and complex power requirements. There’s a lot of influence that takes place because of those, whether it be signal integrity or power integrity. These are the things that push us technology-wise.

Matties: From a customer’s point of view, are they typically people that don’t have design in-house, or is it a combination of people with design but not the capacity? What does that look like?

Miller: It’s all of the above. I kind of group it into three categories. We have customers that have no in-house capability. They are architects of technology and they outsource everything. They may have an engineer or two, but then they want people to execute on the high-level engineering. We also have customers that have in-house capabilities, but they staff to meet their average demand and when they get into peak demand, they have insufficient capacity. They look to augment that internal skillset with outside resources to satisfy that peak demand. Then the surge goes away, and the cost goes away.

Then we have customers that simply have reached the point where they don’t have a skillset or knowledge of the technology. Rather than take on the risks of doing it wrong, they look outside to find people that know how to do it well. You’d be surprised. We’ve done some interesting things for companies that are very capable, but have come to us for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the technology, or the signal speed at which they need to operate are outside of their experience. Sometimes, their internal processes are just too slow, or there are obstacles to getting things done, so they’ll outsource to us.

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