[volt-nuts] PCB Artist

Ken Peek ken.peek at diligentminds.com
Thu Dec 22 00:38:00 EST 2016

On 12/19/2016 08:49 AM, Attila Kinali wrote:

> What you have in schematics and layout does not matter that much,
> if you have the money to keep an Eagle license around. In my experience
> the only IP that matters are reviewed and known good schematic symbol
> and footprint libraries. Schematics and layouts of circuits that are
> more than a couple of years old are only worth as a reference for the
> new design. New devices come so quickly that a design done 5 years ago
> would look very different if done today. And often with better performance
> and cheaper too.

Depends entirely on the industry.  Consumer electronics, I agree fully.
Industrial and commercial products, not so much.

Our main product, the Roy induction heater is a perfect example of the
latter.  It uses a fairly large board with mixed logic and power
sections.  Over 400 components.  I haven't made a meaningful design
change in about 4 years.  Every 6 months we consider suggestions made by
customers and employees.  So far very few got through the review process.

I'm now doing the board over from scratch but only because my hand was
forced by Atmel EOLing my microprocessor.  It really p*sses me that they
EOL'd the part with no advance warning. There is tremendous IP value in
that board and the custom component library.

Yes, the new board will have more functionality, will protect the power
semis better and will move much of the low level hardware into software
but none of that was worth the effort it's going to take to port the
firmware functionality over to the new processor until I was forced to
do so.

Eagle's new AutoDesk-style of licensing forced the issue to KiCAD for me.


And *THAT* boys and girls, is why I switched to ARM-Cortex-Mx based MCU's
long ago...

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