Heads in the Cloud

DigiTimes is reporting that companies like Quanta are working with cloud computing developers to offer turnkey solutions, selling storage space to design and manufacturing customers.

What DigiTimes did not report, however, is that such arrangements extend to PCB CAD tool providers. In fact, Quanta is offering one major CAD tool vendor’s PCB software via the cloud. Users can access the tool on a fee for use basis.

What’s scary about this arrangement is the potential for havoc should a dispute arise between Quanta and its customers. Access to designs — in process or legacy — is critical, and if a design needs to be respun at 11 PM on a Sunday night, and the OEM doesn’t have easy access to the server for whatever reason, that’s going to be a problem.

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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