Monday, July 30, 2012

IPC Designers Council HOUSTON Chapter Education Event Aug 22

The Greater Houston Chapter of the IPC Designers Council is proud to present a 2012 3rd quarter educational event.


DATE: Friday, August 24th, 2012
Class will run from 9-5pm

Niltronix Circuits
1765 Upland Drive
Houston, TX 77043
COST: $35 Early bird till August 13th
$40 after August 13th
Registration ends August 22nd

Morning 9am-12pm 

  • Layout Basics for Embedded Processors
    High Speed Digital Differential Signals
    Maintain standards compliance and signal integrity 
  • Realistic, Reliable layout methods 
  • Preserving signal integrity on any PCB type HDI or PTH
  • BGA Decoupling Decoupling isn't just putting a few caps near the BGA anymore
  • Simulation and results will be shown for capacitor placement and PCB Stackup

Afternoon 12pm-5pm 

  • Designing Complex Boards Grouping and Placing parts from the Schematic 
  • Parts that will provide important information
    The Placement Practices used by Different Designers 
  • Some Planning and placement concepts 
  • Working with the Planes, Stacks and Routing Issues
  • General HDI information.

Susy Webb
Senior PCB Designer and Trainer with over 30 years experience
Keven Coates
Senior Systems Engineer, Automotive Infotainment Texas Instruments

 To join the Greater Houston chapter of the IPC Designers Council or for additional information please send an e-mail.

For registration information, please email.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

DfR presenting at CORPE Workshop in Aalborg, Denmark: August 21

Petri Savolainen will be giving a presentation at the Center of Reliable Power Electronics (CORPE) Workshop on August 21st on the successful reliability modeling and simulation of power supply electronics. For more information, please contact Petri Savolainen.

Friday, July 27, 2012

DfR's Google Calendar

Look for DfR at upcoming events, conferences, webinars, and sales visits that may be in your area on our new link to Google Calendar. For more information on a specific activity, please contact June Caswell.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Employment Opportunities with DfR Solutions!

Manufacturing Quality Engineer (full-time)

Manufacturing quality subject matter experts (SME) are needed to support the Department of Defense (DoD) in the area of systems engineering. This position will be onsite at government locations in the Washington, DC, and Northern VA area. US Citizenship is required. Must have an active security clearance (within the past two years). Travel is required 25% to 50% of the time. The SME develops, modifies, applies and maintains manufacturing and quality guidance and policy applicable to DoD weapon systems; incorporates design for affordability concepts into the manufacturing process; collaborates with reliability and logistics organizations within the DoD to ensure manufacturing guidance supports the objectives of DoD Instruction 5000.02, Operation of the Defense Acquisition System; and conducts manufacturing readiness assessments at prime contractor locations.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit our website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Check out the great tutorials at SMTAI Orlando Oct 14-18!

SMTAI Orlando has a great lineup of tutorials scheduled for October 14-18. Sign up now to take advantage of early bird registration and travel discounts!

I'll be teaching two new courses with full details available online.

T11 Pad Cratering - Prevention, Mitigation and Detection Strategies NEW!

Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions
Monday, October 15 | 8:30am – 12:00pm | Europe 

T14  A New and Better Approach to Tin Whisker Mitigation NEW!  

Cheryl Tulkoff, DfR Solutions
Monday, October 15 | 1:30pm – 5:00pm | Europe 9

Plan now to join us for SMTA International
October 14 - 18, 2012, Orlando, Florida

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Taking Bets on Whether I'll Lose My Voice!

I will be teaching  FOUR courses at the 2013 IPC APEX Expo Conference. The courses will be on:

Sunday, February 17, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Design for Manufacturing:Best Practices;

Sunday, February 17, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Reliability: DFR

Monday, February 18, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Tin Whiskers Mitigation: A New Approach

Monday, February 18, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Counterfeit Protection & Detection Strategies: When To Do It & How To Do It

Contact Cheryl Tulkoff to find out more about her presentations.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Coffee Just Killed My Computer!

A good reliability engineer makes sure product qualification considers every environment. But, how to test for the unexpected, like spills of various beverages? Answer: Rely on DfR Solutions. The results of our internal study just might surprise you. For more information on contamination and cleanliness, contact Seth Binfield.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Process and Design Guidelines for QFNs: Manufacturability and Compatibility

What happens when the fastest selling component package in the world is dreaded and feared by long-life, high-reliability OEMs? Its time for a DfR White Paper. In this report, we discuss the quad-flat-pack-no lead (QFN),explain the drivers for its adoption, and some of the design and process rules that must be applied to ensure a trouble-free transition. For moreinformation, contact Cheryl Tulkoff.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Industry Buzz: 0.3mm pitch is coming (and might already be here)

A number of manufacturers are starting to implement the latest reduction in package feature size. While an extensive amount of resources are often expended to ensure successful manufacturing, surprisingly little is applied to understanding how this package shrink will perform in certain environments. DfR has done a webinar on this technology to illustrate its value, its implementation and potential risk. For more information, contact Greg Caswell.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Counterfeit Prevention and Detection Techniques

Once a strategic approach is defined, the next step is to identify the appropriate techniques. While a good first step would be to use authorized distributors, business situations sometimes prevent this. This white paper provides the framework for a viable testing program by identifying anddetailing useful equipment and test methodologies. For more information, contact Tom Johnston.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Counterfeit Prevention and Detection Strategy

The first step in mitigating the risk of counterfeits is to develop a strategic approach. This article identifies the potential sources of counterfeit parts, the risk involved as a function of the various sources and the potential cost impact. Most importantly, it provides a tool / metric for maximizing the return on investment (ROI) on any program for detection and avoidance. For more information contact Walt Tomczykowski.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Perform Failure Analysis?

Read Craig Hillman's column in the July issue of Global SMT and Packaging (you will need to register) to learn why, and how, to perform failure analysis. For more information on how the right failure analysis can save you time and money, contact Ed Dodd.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Randy Schueller Elected to SMTA Board of Directors

Congratulations to DfR's Randy Schueller for being elected to the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) Board of Directors. DfR is very pleased for Randy and wishes him a great term in office!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Medical Design Briefs Article

Randy Schueller and Cheryl Tulkoff recently had an article published in Medical Design Briefs. Reliability Modeling Software helps Designers Get a Jump on Testing focused on a methodology for improving medical products during the design stage. For more information, contact Randy Schueller or Cheryl Tulkoff.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sherlock 2.6 Released

DfR is proud to announce the release of Sherlock 2.6. This new version comes with some stunning upgrades in its capabilities, including  
  • Parts Database Manager: Use, create, and grow your own local database Automated DFMEA: What will your company do for you if you can save them 500 man-hours per year?  
  • Bed of Nails: Avoid Pad Cratering completely by only spending a few minutes on Sherlock. 
  • Die Attach Fatigue: This new capability is specifically for the increasing number of customers using Sherlock for power module designs. New packages: Including through hole, SON and USON

For more information on these capabilities and to receive a free demo, contact Tom O'Connor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reliability Simulation Council (San Jose, CA: July 10-11)

Craig Hillman and Ed Wyrwas will be participating in the introductory ofthis industry-wide meeting focused on ensuring reliability of next generation integrated circuits. Craig and Ed will be discussing DfR's approach of developing an infrastructure to allow the transmission of key non-IP information that will allow OEMs to make independent reliability evaluations. For more information, contact Ed Wyrwas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jim McLeish Receives Gold Award at ARS

Jim McLeish was awarded the Gold Award at the Applied Reliability Symposium for his presentation entitled "The Transition from MTTF Reliability Predictions to Physics of Failure Reliability Assessments." His presentation was recognized by the attendees for providing an excellent contribution to the discussions at the event. DfR is very proud of this accomplishment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Uprating Shottky Diodes

The need to periodically use a component outside its temperature range is surprisingly pervasive throughout the electronics industry. In this informative white paper, DfR explains how to successfully uprate a Schottky Diode. For more information, contact Ron Wunderlich.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Commercial vs. Government

While we at DfR try to avoid taking sides on what activities should be done by government and what is best performed by private enterprise, this presentation by a NASA administrator puts some surprising numbers on the difference. By some accounts, a rocket launched by SpaceX could cost 1/3rd the price of the same rocket launched through NASA. Can this really be true? Would love to hear your thoughts, especially from our friends at NASA. Post your opinions and facts at our LinkedIn group and we'll provide a summary of the discussion in our next newsletter.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Potting Works Great for Gardens-Not So Much for QFNs......

QFNs are the fastest growing package technology in use today. It's small, lightweight, has great electrical characteristics, can perform in high frequency applications and they are cheap (at least compared to BGAs). But, does that mean they work well in all applications? Greg Caswell presented The Effect of Coating and Potting on the Reliability of QFNs at the SMTA ICSR last month. For more information on predicting the performance of your QFNs, contact Nathan Blattau,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Killer Coatings

DfR's column in the June issue of Global SMT and Packaging (you will need to register) focuses on good conformal coatings gone bad. The column discusses the four ways coatings can kill (trapping of internal residues / material incompatibility / mechanical loads / concentrating external contaminants), how to avoid these problems, and how some newer coating technologies now on the market may revolutionize the conformal coating market. To learn how to use conformal coatings the right way, contact Greg Caswell.