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 [email protected] about anything you see that’s amiss. We want this to be complete, and we want it to be accurate.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

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