Remembering Finch

Zuken has compiled a number of touching sentiments from friends of the late Alan Finch, credited with developing the first shape-based autorouter.

Finch, of course, wrote the landmark paper that followed up his Racal-Redac colleague Ulrich Lauther, who conceived a router with no defined cell size.

Look closely and there’s a mention of Pete Waddell, UPMG president and an admirer of Finch.


A Short History of PCB Design

The death of PADS Software founder Gene Marsh last Friday has prompted me to — at long last — update the PCB design industry timeline on the PCD&F website.

From the 1800s, when photosensitive coatings were perfected, enabling use of photoengraving and setting the stage for future copper etching processes, to the present day, we’ve tried to fill in all the blanks, from the start of companies like Scicards and Racal, who were the pathfinders, to the ingenuity of John Cooper and Dave Chyan, the autorouter specialists, to the rapid merger and acquisition activity that turned almost everyone into a one-time colleague or coworker.

Are there omissions or — gasp! — errors? Most certainly. But that’s where you come in. Please feel free to email me at about anything you see that’s amiss. We want this to be complete, and we want it to be accurate.